Inland Empire

Coronavirus Cases Skyrocket in the Inland Empire

Riverside County has now been placed on the state watch list but health officials said it's still too early to know if the county is heading towards another shutdown.

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Coronavirus cases in the Inland Empire continue to rise as an alarming rate and health officials are concerned that people aren't wearing face coverings or practicing social distancing.

Riverside County Public Health said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases have gone up by more than a thousand in just three days.

One place affected is a popular restaurant in old town Temecula, 1909. The restaurant is closed until further notice after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The owner who spoke to us said all of his workers are being tested before he reopens his business.

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Jose Arballo, of Riverside County Public Health, said he applauds businesses that are doing the right thing to protect both customers and employees.

This comes as coronavirus cases are quickly rising in the Inland Empire. Over a seven day span, confirmed cases increased by more than 65 percent in San Bernardino County and nearly 35 percent in Riverside County compared to the previous week.

Health officials said both counties are doing a lot more testing and that's one reason for the rising numbers.

"The numbers we see here are a little more than we are comfortable with so we are trying to address it by emphasizing once again our usual face coverings and social distancing frequent hand washing," said Arballo.

Arballo said there has also been a steady increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU patients. Riverside County has now been placed on the state watch list but Arballo said it's still too early to know if the county is heading towards another shutdown.

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