Riverside County

Number of Coronavirus Infections Trends Higher in Riverside County

The new state mandate barring indoor activities at these venues is slated to last three weeks.

The overall number of confirmed coronavirus cases throughout Riverside County stands at 19,450, with 479 deaths.

The documentation period covers early March through Friday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday implemented a ban on indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, family entertainment centers, cardrooms, theaters and museums in what he termed a precautionary move to address the "particularly concerning'' spike in infections in 19 counties on the state's "watch list."

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The new state mandate barring indoor activities at these venues is slated to last three weeks.

Bars countywide were ordered closed Monday under a new public health order. They had been allowed to reopen on June 12, after having previously been shut down as part of the governor's stay-at-home order issued March 19.

Health officials said there are higher COVID-19 exposure risks in bars. They also said recent demonstrations calling for law enforcement reform in Riverside County and elsewhere were likely additional hotbeds for viral contact.

According to Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari, the county's positivity rate for COVID-19 screening is running close to 12%, while the state's preferred benchmark is 8%.

Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the hospital bed usage rate countywide has been between 61% and 68% in recent days, while the intensive care bed usage has been between 95% and 99%. But Barton said most hospitals have the ability to quickly add bed space well beyond their licensed capacities.

The EMD director said only about one quarter of the ICU beds countywide were currently needed for COVID-19 patients.

Riverside County was advancing into Stage 3 of the governor's four- stage public health de-regulation plan, but with COVID-19 cases spiking, and the renewed restrictions, that process is now on hold.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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