COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Alerts

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COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS ALERTS ARCHIVE

MARCH 2020    -    APRIL 2020

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May 26, 2020

There are 104 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 5 deaths in Banning

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Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contacts: Joint Information Center (Monday – Friday): (951) 955-5087
Brooke Federico (951) 743-0075 Jose Arballo Jr. (951) 712-3705

Barbershops, hair salons can now open in Riverside County

Riverside County SealBarbershops and hair salons may now reopen in Riverside County following statewide guidance to allow for haircuts, styling and coloring.

The new guidelines, part of an ongoing acceleration that further opens the state economy, were announced Tuesday, one day after Gov. Newsom relaxed guidelines that allowed for houses of worship to conduct in-house services with some limitations.

“We cannot lose sight of our history and the family members and friends we have lost to coronavirus, or that we may not be out of the first wave of this pandemic,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “There is also a great need to help more people safely return to work, including barbers and hairdressers, who have been among the most impacted financially. Moving forward, we will need to ensure that as a county we do everything possible to take care and protect our families from this pandemic while ensuring that people can also work to take care of their families.”

The state guideline for hair salons and barbershops prescribe that services for these operations must be limited to services that can be provided with both the worker and customer wearing face coverings for the entirety of the service. For example, haircuts, weaves and extensions, braiding, lock maintenance, wig maintenance, hair relaxing treatments, and color services can be provided.

But those services that require touching of the customer’s face, such as facials, eyelash adjustments, eyebrow waxing and threading, are not allowed.

“Hair salons and barber shops are largely small businesses, many of which are owned by Riverside County residents,” said Vice Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “More local businesses will now reopen and more people will be able to get back to work. At the same time, we must continue to take safeguards and precautions to prevent future outbreaks.”

Preventative measures outlined in the state’s guidance include:
• Implement measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between and among workers and customers, except when providing haircutting and other close contact services.
• Provide temperature and/or symptom screenings for all workers at the beginning of their shift and any vendors, contractors, or other workers entering the establishment.
• Encourage workers and customers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.
• Screen customers upon arrival and be prepared to cancel or reschedule customers who indicate they have any signs of illness.
• Require workers and customers to use face coverings during the entire haircutting and other close contact hair services.

While the new guidelines are welcomed by many small business owners, health officials are emphasizing that the coronavirus continues to be an issue within the community. They remind residents of the strong recommendations to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing when possible.

Other modifications and measures intended to keep employees, volunteers and members of the community safe are available in the statewide guidance posted on the county’s website at www.rivcoccsd.org/covidbizhelp.

covid opening stages


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May 25, 2020

There are 102 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 5 deaths in Banning

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Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087
After-hours: Brooke Federico (951) 743-0075

Houses of worship to reopen in Riverside County following statewide guidance

Churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship may now reopen in Riverside County following statewide guidance to allow religious services throughout the state. 

This statewide allowance comes after Riverside County requested on May 15 for religious services to have special consideration for reopening during the state’s accelerated stage two.

“This is a significant step in the reopening process and we look forward to working with our places of worship with any assistance they need,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “A cornerstone of many religions is to take care of each other. Let’s continue to take care of each other by praying and observing six feet apart.”

Services may begin immediately and state guidelines indicate attendees should be limited to 25 percent of normal room occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

“People of all faiths have been longing for the day when they can worship with each other in person again,” said Vice Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “An important part of getting through this together is keeping our faith strong. By taking these safety precautions, we can choose to practice our faith in person again and do so safely.” 

Other guidelines issued by the state include:
• Conduct temperature checks
• Strongly consider discontinuing singing or group recitations
• Implement social distancing measures
• Consider outside services
• Discourage sharing of items, handholding, touching or kissing of relics
• Disinfect common areas
• Consider disposable seat covers
• Install hand sanitizer dispensers

Other modifications and measures intended to keep employees, volunteers and congregants safe are available in the statewide guidance posted on the county’s website at www.rivcoccsd.org/covidbizhelp.

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Riverside University Health System - Public Health:

GUIDANCE Places of Worship and Providers of
Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies


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May 22, 2020

There are 93 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 5 deaths in Banning

Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-508

State approves Riverside County’s readiness to move to accelerated stage 2

More businesses to reopen, including dine-in restaurants and retail stores 

Riverside County SealThe California Department of Public Health approved the county’s request to reopen more businesses, as part of the governor’s accelerated phase two. The county submitted a revised request to move into the next phase on Thursday, May 21 based on the new criteria announced by the state earlier this week.

As part of the state’s accelerated stage two, the following locations can now reopen in Riverside County: destination retail stores, including shopping malls and swap meets; dine-in restaurants; and schools with modifications. Pease note, the local health order prohibiting primary schools for grades K-12 is still in effect until June 19.

“This is a huge success for the county and our local businesses that Riverside County was approved for regional variance by the California Department of Public Health,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “That means that Riverside County is now in the accelerated stage 2.5 in the state’s reopening plan, and we can safely reopen shopping centers and restaurants for dining in, all with modifications. While we are excited to move into stage 2.5, and we look forward to the state allowing more sectors of the economy to open in the coming days and weeks, I emphasize that we can’t let our guard down when it comes to protecting ourselves and our communities from the coronavirus.”

The governor on Monday announced the expansion of the avenues of eligibility for counties to accelerate business reopening in a phased approach. The governor’s announcement follows a letter sent by Riverside County along with other Southern California counties that comprise over a quarter of the state’s population seeking consideration of criteria to make urban counties eligible for regional variances.

“Because of the hard work and sacrifices of the community, we have been able to take positive steps and reduce the impact of the epidemic,” said Vice Chair Karen Spiegel, Riverside County supervisor. “The data demonstrates that we are moving in a positive direction and we want to continue that trend. We look forward to reopening our regional economy in a safe and methodical manner.”

Businesses are encouraged to implement guidelines available on the county’s website at www.RivCoBiz.org for modifications and other measures to keep employees, customers and clients safe. Specific statewide guidance for dine-in restaurants and shopping centers is also available on this site.

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Riverside University Health System Public Health:
Riverside County Guidelines for...

Safe Reopening | Shopping | Dine-In Restaurants  


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May 21, 2020

There are 91 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 5 deaths in Banning

Survivors of COVID-19: Donate your plasma

Seal_of_the_Governor_of_CaliforniaBlood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients may be able to help sick people get better faster. If you have recovered from COVID-19, your donation could help—consider donating and find a donation center.




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May 20, 2020

There are 88 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 2 deaths in Banning

Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order on Actions in Response to COVID-19 

Published:

Seal_of_the_Governor_of_CaliforniaSACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order addressing a variety of issues in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order helps ease the strain on domestic violence service providers by waiving the 10 percent cash or in-kind matching requirements for state grants awarded to these organizations.

The order also waives the deadline to verify grade point average and waives certain certification requirements and selective service registration verification for Cal Grant applicants.

The order suspends programmatic deadlines for entities that receive funding from the Energy Commission for the development and deployment of new technologies that support the state’s clean energy and decarbonization goals.

In addition, the order extends the timeframe for local governments to submit claims for reimbursement to the State Controller’s Office.

The text of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and a copy can be found here.


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Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery Urges Congress to Pass Emergency Relief for State & Local Governments

Published: 


Top California economic leaders: Federal relief for state and local governments will be critical for restarting our economy, creating consumer confidence and more quickly reopening businesses

Seal_of_the_Governor_of_CaliforniaSACRAMENTO – Members of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery sent a letter to congressional leaders asking them pass $1 trillion in direct relief for state and local governments – funding that is critical to reopening our economies.

“State, local and tribal governments are critical to our recovery. In the short-term, they must be able to scale-up necessary programs, like contact tracing and testing,” the signers said. “Given budget shortfalls, they are also soon facing impossible decisions – like whether to fund additional safety measures related to COVID-19 that will help businesses reopen more quickly or prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other first responders.”

The letter, signed by 91 California leaders – including business leaders like Bob Iger and Marc Benioff — outlines the budgetary challenges facing state, local and tribal governments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the country, massive and sudden losses in revenue are making it nearly impossible for state and local governments to fund critical health infrastructure like contact tracing and testing, while still providing critical services like public education and public safety.

“COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how we will manage our businesses and organizations going forward, with the worst of the economic impact likely still to come,” the letter continues. “Reopening our economies is a welcome step forward, but the success of our efforts ultimately relies on building greater confidence among consumers that it is safe to shop and greater certainty for workers that the services they rely on to do their jobs will remain in place. Without that, we will be a re-opened economy in name only.”

The Governor last month convened the Task Force, co-chaired by Governor Newsom’s Chief of Staff Ann O’Leary and philanthropist, environmentalist and businessman Tom Steyer, to chart a path forward on recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

A copy of the Task Force’s letter can be found here.


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May 19, 2020

There are 74 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 2 deaths in Banning

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May 18, 2020

There are 74 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

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Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

Two new walk-up coronavirus testing sites opened in Riverside County 

25085323910_8e252f43c3_mRiverside County health officials are adding two walk-in testing sites – one in Moreno Valley and the other in Cathedral City -- for those interested in being screened for coronavirus. 

Testing at Crossword Christian Church in Moreno Valley and the Cathedral City Public Library started Monday and will continue Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The church is located at 21401 Box Springs Road, while the library is located at 33520 Date Palm Drive.

These are the first walk-in sites operated by the county; the four others are drive up sites located in Indio, Lake Elsinore, Perris and Riverside.

“As we continue our response to this epidemic, we have refocused our efforts to test as many Riverside County residents as possible,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside County public health. “These two sites and others that are in the planning process will help reach that goal.”

So far, more than 80,000 Riverside County residents have been tested at the county’s four sites, along with screenings at clinics, hospitals, private labs and other locations. There are also eight state-run, walk-in testing sites located throughout Riverside County.

Testing at the county-run sites is open to anyone, whether they have symptoms or not, and there are no out-of-pocket costs to individuals. Participants will be asked to provide information about their health insurance, but they will not be charged any share of costs or copay, and will be allowed to get tested even if they do not provide the insurance information. You must have an appointment to get tested.

To make an appointment at a county-operated site, call 800-945-6171. To make an online appointment at the state-run testing site, click https://lhi.care/covidtesting or those without internet access can call 888-634-1123.


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May 15, 2020

There are 63 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087 

Riverside County attests readiness to safely reopen based on public health data 

County requests to move to the state’s accelerated stage two

Riverside County has notified Gov. Gavin Newsom that it is ready to cautiously and safely open for business based on public health data. The county has sent a letter and attestation to state officials requesting the county be allowed to take the next step in that direction.

In a May 14 letter to Newsom, Riverside County supervisors said the county has the ability to “meet, exceed or plan to achieve” six of the seven criteria described by the governor to accelerate through the current Stage 2 of the economic expansion plan into the next level. Among the criteria, the county has a plan to protect Stage 1 essential workers; created ample testing capacity; demonstrated the ability to protect vulnerable populations; developed a plan to expand contact tracing capabilities; and exceeded a minimum of 35 percent surge capacity in the county’s health system.

The county is currently at stage two of the governor’s reopening plan, which allows for curbside delivery and pick up of some retail businesses. The county is requesting to move to the governor’s accelerated stage two, which would open additional businesses.

In the letter, the county is asking a variance on the epidemiological benchmarks outlined by the state, particularly a requirement that there be no COVID-19 death for a 14-day period.

“In our opinion, the metrics are unrealistic for urban counties, and Riverside County in particular, where our geographic size and population make it impossible that no” COVID-19 death would take place during the 14-day period. Instead, the letter states, it is appropriate to adopt the federal epidemiology benchmarks, which the county is already achieving because of a downward trend in data.

The Board of Supervisors on May 12 unanimously approved its Readiness and Reopening Framework, which officials described as a commonsense plan that meets both goals of protecting our public health and restoring the economy.

“We are ready to cautiously reopen based on public health data,” the letter states.

Read the entire letter below.

Riverside County’s Readiness to Reopen

A letter to Governor Newsom from Riverside County

Dear Governor Newsom,

Riverside County appreciates your work and the steadfast support of your team, especially the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Office of Emergency Services, to slow the spread of coronavirus and the devastating impacts of COVID-19.

Locally, we have been responding to this pandemic since late January – ever since the first U.S. repatriation flight landed in Riverside County at March Air Reserve Base. This was well before the first locally-acquired case of coronavirus was detected on March 7. From the beginning, Riverside County has been steadfast in our commitment to protect every member of our community and, working collaboratively with our public, private and nonprofit partners, we have led the way in taking proactive steps on behalf of our residents. 

Together, we avoided a surge on our local hospital system. When it comes to testing, we were one of the first counties to open community, drive up testing, the first to allow asymptomatic testing, and we continue to be the leader in testing volume among urban counties. (In fact, to date, we have tested well over three percent of our entire population.) Riverside County was one of the first counties in the state, if not the first, to develop proactive outreach teams to provide support and resources to all of our congregate care settings, including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and homeless shelters. We started housing our homeless population in local hotels weeks before Project Roomkey was announced at the state level. When it comes to housing those experiencing homelessness, we have set audacious goals and we have repeatedly exceeded expectations by providing emergency housing and support.  

Unfortunately, while we have been flattening the curve of the pandemic, our unemployment numbers continue to sharply curve upwards. Local businesses, who have made immense sacrifices during this unprecedented public health emergency, are suffering through an economic emergency the likes of which we have never seen. Just as we acted proactively to protect our residents during the public health crisis, we must act now to help our residents through the economic crisis. To that end, Riverside County has developed a commonsense Readiness and Reopening Framework, based largely on the plan you and your team developed.

This framework provides a path to cautiously reopen based on public health data our economy with the proper health and safety measures in place. It recognizes that the health and wellbeing of our society is vital to developing and supporting thriving communities, dynamic healthcare services and a strong economy.

It also acknowledges that without a proper fiscal base, grounded on a healthy economy, the County of Riverside cannot provide essential services to protect public health and safety. The county, therefore, must work cooperatively with our private and nonprofits sectors, as well as labor groups, to support our businesses to cautiously reopen based on public health data as safely and as quickly as possible.

Today, we will meet, exceed or have a plan to achieve, six of the seven criteria identified by CDPH to accelerate through Stage 2 in the coming days. Specifically, the county has achieved the following: 

•  Plan to protect stage 1 essential workers
•  Ample testing capacity
•  Aggressive plan to expand contact tracing capability
•  Exceeded a minimum of 35 percent surge capacity in our healthcare system
•  Demonstrated ability to protect vulnerable populations
•  Identified triggers for modifications

As it relates to appropriately determining the prevalence of the disease in the community, we request for the opportunity to make our case for a variance from the epidemiologic benchmarks outlined by CDPH. In our opinion, the metrics are unrealistic for urban counties, and Riverside County in particular, where our geographic size and population make it impossible that no deaths from COVID19 will result in a 14-day timeframe. Fortunately, counties with greater population also have substantially greater public health resources for rapid response to local outbreaks. With a team of full-time epidemiologists and the ability for consistent, real-time epidemiological surveillance, the County of Riverside is better able to identify early triggers, areas for rapid intervention and provide timely contact tracing, as well as testing.

For Riverside County and its available resources, it is appropriate to adopt the federal epidemiology benchmarks, which we are already achieving, as evidenced by our downward trend of cases, downward trend of test positivity, and downward trend of flu and COVID-19 like symptomatic cases.

On May 12, we unanimously approved our Readiness and Reopening Framework. We believe that this reasonable plan soundly meets both goals of protecting our public health and restoring our economic health. We are ready to cautiously reopen based on public health data. Further, we believe that, if given the opportunity to present this framework to your office, you will agree. We look forward to the opportunity to meet with you and/or your staff in the coming days.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is in support of this attestation, which was developed in collaboration with our Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser and will provide important framework for a regional approach to economic growth. Riverside County looks forward to working with the state as we move forward. 

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Chair V. Manuel Perez; Fourth District Supervisor
Vice Chair Karen Spiegel; Second District Supervisor
Kevin Jeffries; First District Supervisor
Chuck Washington; Third District Supervisor
Jeff Hewitt; Fifth District Supervisor


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May 14, 2020

There are 60 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

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May 13, 2020

There are 59 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

Riverside CountyNEWS RELEASE
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

More business for restaurants that join new meal program

Riverside County SealRiverside County health officials are looking for restaurants in San Jacinto, Hemet, Perris, Banning, Beaumont and surrounding areas to take part in the “Great Plates Delivered” program aimed at providing meals for at-risk seniors staying home to avoid exposure to coronavirus.

Participating restaurants will provide three meals per day, seven days a week for those 65 and older, including delivery. In turn, the restaurants will receive up to $66 – $16 for breakfast, $17 for lunch, $28 for dinner, and $5 for incidentals – from the county through at least June 10. The program may be extended.

“This program is a win-win for everyone involved,” said Jewel Lee, director of Riverside County Office on Aging. “The seniors are able to access healthy meals while remaining safe at home, and local restaurants are able to earn money during these difficult financial times.”

Restaurants should be able to provide nutritional meals that meet cultural needs, and lunch and dinner must include a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable. Drinks, if included, must be less than 24 calories per 8oz and made of 100 percent fruit juice. 

“I am particularly proud that the Great Plates Delivered program was piloted in the Fourth District, with Norma’s Italian Kitchen in Rancho Mirage being the first restaurant in Riverside County to get signed up and deliver their amazing dishes to senior citizens,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “The operation at Norma’s Italian Kitchen is inspiring and shows that this program is helping to save jobs and provide exceptional service to seniors in our community.”

 Restaurants are encouraged to provide their own delivery, as that will allow the business to keep more of the funds in-house and better coordinate the delivery to customers. Delivery drivers must pass a background check at the restaurant’s expense. Restaurants may elect to use food delivery programs such as Grubhub, Postmates, DoorDash and Uber Eats.

There is a simple process to join this program: be in good standing with Environmental Health Restaurant Grade and become a vendor with the County of Riverside. 

For more information, visit https://www.rcaging.org/COVID-19/Great-PlatesDelivered-Program.


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May 11, 2020

There are 59 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning


Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

Teenagers and young adults encouraged to get tested for coronavirus

Riverside County health officials are encouraging young people to get tested for coronavirus because it is believed the group has been underrepresented in testing so far.

More than 71,000 people have been tested in Riverside County – at county- and state-run testing sites, clinics, hospitals and private facilities – and health officials say it is important that all segments of the population get tested to help determine the spread of coronavirus in the community. While adults have been well represented in testing, officials said they would like more of those 25 and younger to get screened.

According to census data, those 18 and under make up about 25 percent of Riverside County’s population, but that group has made up only 6.6 percent of the testing appointments at the county’s coronavirus testing sites.

“We would like to get a more complete picture of the illness as it has spread among young people,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of public health for Riverside County. “This will helps us better understand who in the community has the disease and how it might be moving among children and families.”

The county currently operates four drive up testing sites – Indio, Perris, Riverside and Lake Elsinore – and those who want to be screened do not have to have symptoms, although they do need an appointment. Parent permission is required for testing of minors. For an appointment, call 800-945-6171.

Appointments are also required at the eight state-operated walk-up testing sites spread throughout the county. To make an appointment at the state sites go online, click https://lhi.care/covidtesting, or for those without internet access call 888-634-1123.

 “Testing is for everyone, regardless of immigration status or insurance, and it is free,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “Testing has been expanded to be available for those with and without symptoms, and we encourage our young people to get themselves tested at one of our many testing sites.”

There is no cost to the person being tested at either the county or state operated facilities.


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May 9, 2020

Great Plates Delivered program flier


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Daily Projection 050720


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May 8, 2020

There are 49 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087 

Riverside County reverts to state orders

Most local health orders to be rescinded in alignment with governor’s orders

Riverside County SealThe Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 tonight at a special board meeting to direct the rescission of most local health orders to align with the governor’s statewide stay at home order.

Starting tomorrow, face coverings and six feet of social distancing will be strongly recommended whenever practical and within reason. Limitations on short term rentals and golf course operations will be rescinded and in alignment with state orders.

The board also voted to keep local orders in place for primary schools (i.e., grades K-12), and remove local restrictions on higher education and vocational schools.

Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser and Director of Emergency Services George Johnson plan to sign the amended school order and the rescission of the remaining three orders tomorrow, May 9.

Tonight’s board action also included adopting a best practices framework to guide the development for reopening Riverside County businesses, a plan that is expected to go before the board on Tuesday, May 12.

The county will continue to provide support to Riverside County cities with questions on how the governor’s orders apply locally.


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May 7, 2020

There are 48 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

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Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Thomas Peterson, Sr. Public Information Specialist
(951) 538 – 6791
tpeterson@ruhealth.org

Riverside County Buildings Illuminated in Lime Green

County joins statewide effort to promote mental health awareness

25085323910_8e252f43c3_mRiverside County shines a light on mental health stigma reduction and suicide prevention by casting a lime green glow on the County Administrative Center at 4080 Lemon St. in Riverside and the Workforce Development Center at 44-199 Monroe St. in Indio. 

Lime green is the official color of mental health awareness.

The buildings were lit May 6 and will continue through May 31. Riverside County joins with other locations in California that are participating in the Lime Green City Lights Activation, an initiative sponsored by Each Mind Matters/SanaMente. The aim of this initiative is to bring a powerful visual image to the effort to end the silence around mental illness and introduce a safe place to start a discussion about mental health.

“Lighting these buildings in lime green shows the bold commitment of Riverside County to promoting understanding and extending compassion to people living with mental health challenges,” said Dr. Matthew Chang, director of Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health. “I hope that everyone who sees these buildings this month will take the opportunity to open a discussion about mental health and learn about resources that are available in this community,” he continued.

Nationwide, 1 in 5 people are living with mental health challenges. Older adults who face the medical and physical health challenges of aging – compounded by loss and isolation – are at higher risk of depression. More than 40 percent of the 8.9 million young adults nationwide with mental illness are not receiving the treatment they need. All of us know and love someone with mental illness.

“I appreciate that Behavioral Health is always there for our community, and especially now,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “We have to proclaim every single day that there is hope. I want to recognize and commend our entire Behavioral Health staff, the nonprofits that advocate for mental health awareness, our Behavioral Health Commission and Desert Region Behavioral Health Advisory Board, and all the families we serve who are an inspiration to us.”

Through the availability of community-based supports, many people are in recovery and live full, productive and rewarding lives. Since 1949, the entire month of May has been recognized as mental health awareness month to promote a greater understanding of mental health and to support the wellness and recovery of those living with mental illness. For more information about mental health resources in Riverside County, visit rcdmh.org.

Anyone needing urgent mental health care should call 2-1-1 or call 951–686–HELP (4357).

county building green 1

county building green 2


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May 6, 2020

There are 43 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning


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Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

Environmental Health issues guidance on
shared pools in response to Coronavirus 

EH-Logo-largeRiverside County health officials are issuing guidelines for the use and operation of community pools in response to the coronavirus epidemic. 

The guidelines were developed by the Department of Environmental Health with input from Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer, and applies to pools and spas at apartment complexes and those operated by homeowners’ associations. 

“While we continue to stay in place, we want residents to benefit from as much safe activity outdoors as possible,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “These guidelines are a sensible way to do that with community swimming pools.” 

Health officials emphasized these are guidelines and not requirements for community pool operators.
• Six feet separation should be implemented, and swimmers should limit themselves to lanes.

• No large groups or pool parties. Residents of the same household may swim together.

• Lounge chairs and/or tables should be properly distanced. If they cannot be distanced, they should be secured and stored.

• Residents should wear a cloth face covering when traveling through common areas of the property where it may not be possible to maintain physical distancing, including to and from the pool, barbeque area and shared restrooms.

• Residents should bring hand sanitizer, or it should be provided by pool operator.

• Operators should frequently check shared restrooms to ensure they are stocked with hand soap and paper towels.

• Operators should use scheduled time slots on the busiest days.

• Operators should close the spa or limit use to 1 person or household at a time (post signage).

• Create a written disinfection plan that identifies frequently touched surfaces, a schedule, and designated person to complete disinfection tasks.

• Use an EPA-approved disinfectant on commonly touched surfaces, including but not limited to: gate, latch, tables, chairs, drinking fountain, pool handrails and countertops. In shared restrooms: door handles, light switches, faucets, latches and dispensers.

• Post signage reminding residents to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, cover coughs and sneezes, and to avoid the pool area if they are experiencing symptoms of illness including a fever of 100°F or above, sore throat, runny nose, chills, not feeling well, sneezing, coughing, abdominal pain or diarrhea

Safe water, sanitation and hygiene are essential to protecting human health during disease outbreaks. There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and spas, however, maintaining good chlorine levels in our community pools may help to prevent its spread. 

For more information regarding health and safety requirements for community pools and spas visit: http://www.rivcoeh.org/OurServices/PoolsSpasWaterFeatures


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May 5, 2020

There are 42 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

COVID-19 Testing in Beaumont

beaumontsealBeaumont, CA—On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, Riverside County Public Health announced eight additional coronavirus testing sites throughout the county, one of which will be located in the City of Beaumont. The new sites are being operated by OptumServe, a firm hired by the state to conduct testing, and each location can process up to 132 people daily.

“One of our key initiatives is to test as many people as possible and these new sites, combined with the testing we have already been able to complete through our county-run locations, will provide a good measure of what is happening with the spread of coronavirus,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside University Health System - Public Health.

Beaumont Testing Location
Noble Creek Community Center
390 W. Oak Valley Parkway
Beaumont, Ca 92223

Testing is available at no cost to all residents, including asymptomatic individuals. The Beaumont testing site will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Appointments are required and can be made online by visiting https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 888-634-1123. For more information on testing sites located in the County of Riverside, please visit RivCoPH.org


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Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

State testing sites to open in Riverside County 

Eight new locations will test additional 1,000 people per day

25085323910_8e252f43c3_mRiverside County residents who want to be tested for coronavirus will be able to choose among eight new testing sites being offered by state health officials starting Wednesday. 

The locations, which are spread throughout the county, are in addition to the four drive-up testing sites – Perris, Indio, Riverside and Lake Elsinore – that are operated by Riverside County health officials. 

The new sites are being operated by OptumServe, a firm hired by the state to conduct testing, and each location can process up to 132 people daily. The service is free and those wanting to be tested can be asymptomatic, but must have an appointment. 

“One of our key initiatives is to test as many people as possible and these new sites, combined with the testing we have already been able to complete through our county-run locations, will provide a good measure of what is happening with the spread of coronavirus,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside University Health System - Public Health. 

Appointments can be made online by going to https://lhi.care/covidtesting or those without internet access can call 888-634-1123. Testing is available for everyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status, and is no cost to the resident. 

“Testing is a top priority of Riverside County and the State of California, and I am pleased with this incredible partnership with the state to expand testing,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “I am particularly glad we will have testing sites in Desert Hot Springs and Mecca, two communities with high need and essential workers on the front lines. Testing is for everyone, regardless of immigration status, and it is free. I encourage everyone to make an appointment, get tested and help our county and state continue to make progress on this crucial aspect of our coronavirus efforts.” 

Riverside County leads the state in testing among other more populous counties, having tested more than two percent of the population. The number of confirmed cases in Riverside County is partly connected to the larger percentage of testing. 

The following locations will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. by appointment only: 

Mead Valley Community Center
21091 Rider St.
Perris, CA 92570

Nellie Weaver Hall
3737 Crestview
Norco, CA 92860 

Moses Schaffer Community Center
21565 Steele Peak
Perris, CA 92570

Mecca Boys and Girls Club
91391 66th Ave
Mecca, CA 92254

The following locations will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.:

Lozano Community Center
12-800 West Arroyo
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240

Valle Vista Community Center
43935 E. Acacia Ave.
Hemet, CA 92544


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Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

Resources available for seniors in Riverside County during heat wave

With high temperatures this week, Riverside County health officials remind seniors of available resources to help protect them from the heat. With the current governor’s executive stay at home order, county residents should remain in their homes during the heat wave.

Triple-digit temperatures are predicted throughout the week. Officials urge that seniors remain at home and use their air conditioners to stay cool, then reach out to the Riverside County Office of Aging for utility assistance when the bill arrives.

“We are working with the Office on Aging to connect seniors with services during this heatwave,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of Public Health for Riverside County. “Community Connect is a one stop shop. By dialing 2-1-1 from any phone in Riverside County, seniors can be connected with a number of services that are available.”

Cooling centers are normally located throughout the county at community centers, libraries, senior centers and other locations. The cooling centers generally kick off June 1, but these sites are not prepared for an earlier opening, in part, because of the current response to coronavirus and the existing restrictions on public gatherings and social distancing requirements.


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May 4, 2020

There are 41 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

The City of Banning urges Businesses to Flush Water Lines

BanningSeal_2B SMThe City of Banning would like to encourage businesses to follow federal Centers for Disease Control guidelines and flush water lines before reopening once the COVID-19 shutdown has been lifted.

During the closure, many business buildings have sat idle and water lines most likely have been unused. It is strongly recommended to properly flush these water lines to ensure water quality and safety before business operations commence once again.

Lines should be flushed for at least 10-15 minutes to pull fresh water from the main water distribution system through individual property water lines.

For inquiries or assistance call the Banning Public Works Department (951) 922-3130.


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Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact:
Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

Riverside County launches Economic Recovery Task Force

Riverside County launched an economic recovery task force to provide recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on restarting the local economy and preparing to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we continue to fight against the silent enemy, coronavirus, metrics demonstrate that we can now balance that with turning the corner towards economic opportunity,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “An important part of our efforts is making sure we are workforce ready and business ready once the state moves into the next phase in its roadmap. I envision this local economic recovery team as identifying resources, policies and opportunities that can help the local economy bounce back sooner in the Fourth District and Riverside County as a whole.”

The board formed this task force with business and community leaders from throughout Riverside County to study how to support businesses in their recovery efforts. The task force is expected to be in place for 18 months and will identify both short and long-term strategies to assist the local economy.

“We have assembled a fantastic wealth of knowledge and expertise to serve on the Economic Recovery Task Force while ensuring representation across the county,” said Vice Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “Their combined expertise, innovation and collaboration will be instrumental in developing a comprehensive and methodical approach towards re-opening our business communities and providing the support our region will need to rebound our economy from the devastating impacts of COVID-19. Their hard work and dedication to this effort is greatly appreciated. I’m confident that we will get through this together.”

Representing each of the five supervisorial districts and regions of the county, the task force draws upon the established business expertise and resources from local chambers of commerce, tourism bureaus, industry leaders and public sector partners. County staff members from the Economic Development Department and Transportation and Land Management Agency will work alongside the task force to support the critically important objectives of the task force.

Economic Recovery Task Force

Convention and Visitors Bureau/BIA (Chair)    Lou Monville
Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce (Vice-Chair)    Josh Bonner
Coachella Valley Association of Governments    Tom Kirk
Coachella Valley Economic Partnership    Joe Wallace
Corona Chamber of Commerce    Bobby Spiegel
Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau    Scott White
Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce    Cindy Roth
Inland Empire Economic Partnership    Paul Granillo
Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce    Kim Cousins
Moreno Valley Chamber of Commerce    Oscar Valdepena
Riverside County Farm Bureau    Rachel Johnson
Temecula Chamber of Commerce    Emily Fallappino
Visit Temecula Valley    Kimberly Adams
Western Riverside Council of Governments    Rick Bishop
Wildomar/Murrieta Chamber of Commerce    Patrick Ellis
Wine Growers Association    Phil Baily
Workforce Development Board    Jamil Dada