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COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS ALERTS ARCHIVE

MARCH 2020    -    APRIL 2020   -    MAY 2020    -     JUNE 2020

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August 3, 2020

There are 446 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 11 deaths in Banning.

Aug. 3, 2020
Media Contact:
Riverside County Joint Information Center 951-955-5087
Public contact: 2-1-1

State fixing technical issue causing lag in case reporting

Delay may give impression Riverside County cases are slowing down; not the case, say local health experts


Riverside County SealRiverside County health officials urge the public to stay vigilant in protecting themselves from the coronavirus, despite an appearance the disease is slowing locally.
There is currently a technical issue with the California Department of Public Health’s electronic disease reporting system. The California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (commonly called CalREDIE) is experiencing delays.

Electronic laboratory reporting is not being submitted to CalREDIE’s system in a real-time manner. Riverside County’s positive cases in recent days may appear that the numbers are holding steady or flattening, but that’s simply not true, said Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari.

“This is an integration, technical issue,” Saruwatari said. “Simply put, there is a significant lag in how the information is being fed into the system. We’re anticipating significant increases in case reporting this week.”

This is why Saruwatari and the county’s Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said it’s as important as ever for residents to battle the virus in every way possible. Embracing the county’s new campaign – Masks are Medicine – is one way to do that, Dr. Kaiser said.

“Practicing social distancing, washing one’s hands routinely and wearing face coverings are critical steps to protecting yourself and your friends and loved ones,” Dr. Kaiser said. “We did it before and we can do it again.”

The California Department of Public Health informed public health departments of the delay in an e-mail on Friday (Aug. 1). Today, the CDPH informed local agencies that it is committed to resolving the issue as quickly as possible and has “urgently escalated this issue to leadership.”

Saruwatari said the delay impacts how public health workers can chase down cases for investigation, contact tracing and, ultimately, controlling the disease. The county’s testing positivity rate is also impacted by the delay.

Hospitalization and death rates are not impacted as they are reported directly to the county through different systems. A total of 737 residents have succumbed to COVID-19 and roughly 425 residents are currently being cared for in Riverside County hospitals. More than 38,000 have tested positive for the virus.

“We’re hopeful this technical issue will be resolved quickly so we can continue our fight to protect our county residents,” Saruwatari said.


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August 3, 2020
Media contact:
Riverside County Joint Information Center
951-955-5087
Public contact: 2-1-1

Health officials warn about impact of smoke from Apple Fire

One coronavirus testing site moves due to proximity to fire



Riverside County SealA wildfire that is burning near Banning is generating smoke and ash that is impacting the San Gorgonio Pass and communities in and around the San Jacinto Mountains, prompting health officials to urge residents to take precautions with the unhealthy air quality levels.

“Residents throughout portions of the San Gorgonio Pass, particularly those living or working near the fire, need to be aware of the risks of breathing unhealthy air and take steps to keep safe,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer.

Kaiser recommends that those who live in areas impacted by smoke and ash should avoid strenuous activity, remain indoors with the air-conditioning on and windows and doors closed. Also, keep the indoor air fresh with a clean filtering system to prevent from bringing smoke inside.

Wildfire smoke can cause a range of health issues, which include burning eyes, runny nose, shortness of breath, scratchy throat, headaches and chest pains. Smoke can also worsen chronic heart and lung disease.

Officials also stress the importance of following evacuation instructions for the safety of all residents living in the evacuation areas. Safety steps have been taken to protect residents and workers at the reception and care site located at Beaumont High School.

“We have taken a number of precautions to ensure everyone is safe while they are evacuated,” said Bruce Barton, director of the County of Riverside Emergency Management Department. “In addition to sheltering away from smoke, we implemented expanded precautions to ensure evacuated residents are protected from COVID with screening, physical distancing, sanitation stations and a number of other safety measures.”

Meanwhile, the state-operated coronavirus testing site at the Noble Creek Community Center in Beaumont has been closed because of the Apple Fire and will open at the Beaumont Women’s Club, 306 E. 6th Street. The move is effective immediately and will be in place until further notice.

Those with existing appointments will be notified about the change.

The hours of operation remain the same – 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. To make an appointment at the Beaumont location, call 888-634-1123 or click online https://lhi.care/covidtesting.


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July 28, 2020

There are 415 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 11 deaths in Banning.

New Regulations Will Help State Understand COVID-19 Impacts
on California's Diverse Communities

Contact: CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov

California Department of Public Health Takes Action to Require Better, More Timely Collection of Data on Race, Ethnicity, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

state sealSACRAMENTO – To better understand the impact of COVID-19 on California's diverse communities, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) took regulatory action today, which goes into effect immediately, expanding data reporting requirements for providers and laboratories. The regulations require providers to continue to collect and report race and ethnicity data and also collect and report a patient's gender identity and sexual orientation, so the state has more information on patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Today's action also requires labs to collect and report race and ethnicity data to the state.

"Complete data is essential to addressing health inequities and better designing public health interventions that save lives," said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health. "These changes apply to COVID-19, and all reportable diseases, to help us understand their impact by race, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation.

While providers are currently required to report race and ethnicity data to the state, the information received is often incomplete. Race and ethnicity data are still missing from nearly 36% of cases in California. In addition to expanding reporting requirements, today's action reminds providers that collecting and reporting this data is essential to California's public health response. The regulations, which become effective immediately, apply to all reportable diseases in California, not just COVID-19, giving the state broader insight into racial and ethnic disparities and disparities among LGBT individuals.

California continues to evaluate additional steps it can take to improve the collection and reporting of data both from providers and laboratories.

The regulations filed today affect Title 17 of the CCR, sections 2500 and 2505 (PDF). 


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July 29, 2020

There are 414 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths in Banning.

In Stockton, Governor Newsom Announces Actions to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in the Central Valley  


Eight Central Valley counties – Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern – to receive $52 million for testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine efforts 

State will deploy three Unified Support Teams to the Central Valley to provide hands-on technical assistance 



Seal_of_the_Governor_of_CaliforniaSACRAMENTO – Building on the state’s Friday announcement focusing new efforts to support California’s essential workforce, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced additional targeted actions to support the Central Valley – a region seeing concerning virus spread that is disproportionately impacting Latinos. The Governor announced $52 million for Central Valley counties – San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern – to help expand disease investigation, contact tracing and quarantine efforts. In addition, the state will deploy three Unified Support Teams to these counties, which are experiencing increased cases and hospitalizations.

Statewide, Latinos make up 38.9 percent of the population but comprise a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases (56 percent) and deaths (45.7 percent). In the Central Valley, where between 41-65 percent of any given county is Latino, there are a disproportionate number of Latino deaths compared to population – for example, in Fresno County, Latinos comprise 52.6 percent of the population and 65 percent of COVID-19 deaths. We also know that of the cases where we have no race or ethnicity data, based on surnames, local public health officials estimate that roughly 70 percent appear Latino, thus the current case numbers likely underestimate the total number of Latinos who are impacted by the virus.

“The data is clear that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting Latinos in California,” said Governor Newsom. “The rising community transmission rates we are seeing, particularly among Latinos in the Central Valley, are concerning. This is alarming and we are taking action. That’s why today we are making $52 million available to counties in the Central Valley to support local public health departments with additional resources to stop the spread of the virus and reduce the number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19.”

In collaboration with local partners, the state will deploy Unified Support Teams into the eight Central Valley counties to support and boost on-the-ground efforts to reduce transmission rates. The teams will work side by side with local public health, emergency, medical, community and business organizations to evaluate on-the-ground needs and develop strategies and interventions to address them. These assessments could include an evaluation and improvement in testing, contact tracing, disease investigation, data management, public education and surge planning for local health care systems.

The teams will review data and look at outbreaks in factories and congregate setting such as long-term care facilities, high-density housing developments and agricultural workplaces where individuals may be exposed to COVID-19. The mission will be supported by various state agencies and departments including the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Department of Public Health, Department of Food and Agriculture, Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, Cal/OSHA and the Department of Social Services.

This mission is similar to the one carried out recently in Imperial County, which included the deployment of state and federal personnel to reduce transmission rates, augment surge capacity at local hospitals and operate an 80-bed alternate care site. That effort boosted public health support for disease investigation and contact tracing and helped manage outbreaks at workplaces and other congregate settings. Those efforts also dramatically reduced the number of COVID-19 patients being transferred out of the county for care. For context, in Imperial County the 14-day case rate dropped 63 percent, from 836 cases per 100,000 to 308 cases per 100,000 people.

The state’s targeted efforts are funded in part with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has provided California $499 million to support the state’s response to COVID-19, of which $286 million is being made available to local governments in their efforts to fight COVID-19. Nearly $52 million of these funds will go to eight counties in the Central Valley – Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare.

California is grateful to our federal partners for their continued support. Recently, and in coordination with the state, a federal COVID-19 Response Assistance Field Team was deployed to California to help us further assess local need and leverage all federal resources to stop the spread of the COVID-19 in Kern, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.


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New Regulations Will Help State Understand COVID-19 Impacts on California's Diverse Communities

Contact: CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov

California Department of Public Health Takes Action to Require Better, More Timely Collection of Data on Race, Ethnicity, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

SACRAMENTO – To better understand the impact of COVID-19 on California's diverse communities, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) took regulatory action today, which goes into effect immediately, expanding data reporting requirements for providers and laboratories. The regulations require providers to continue to collect and report race and ethnicity data and also collect and report a patient's gender identity and sexual orientation, so the state has more information on patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Today's action also requires labs to collect and report race and ethnicity data to the state.

"Complete data is essential to addressing health inequities and better designing public health interventions that save lives," said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health. "These changes apply to COVID-19, and all reportable diseases, to help us understand their impact by race, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation.

While providers are currently required to report race and ethnicity data to the state, the information received is often incomplete. Race and ethnicity data are still missing from nearly 36% of cases in California. In addition to expanding reporting requirements, today's action reminds providers that collecting and reporting this data is essential to California's public health response. The regulations, which become effective immediately, apply to all reportable diseases in California, not just COVID-19, giving the state broader insight into racial and ethnic disparities and disparities among LGBT individuals.

California continues to evaluate additional steps it can take to improve the collection and reporting of data both from providers and laboratories.

The regulations filed today affect Title 17 of the CCR, sections 2500 and 2505 (PDF). 


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July 27, 2020

There are 411 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths in Banning.

Media Contact:
Riverside County Joint Information Center
951-955-5087
Public contact: 2-1-1

Antibody study shows coronavirus spread wider in Riverside County

Wearing a face covering will slow the spread from asymptomatic carriers

25085323910_8e252f43c3_mResults of a COVID-19 antibody testing study indicate the virus may have infected more than 100,000 Riverside County residents. This finding underscores the need to wear face coverings as people may have the virus without any symptoms, then easily spread it to others when not wearing a mask or keeping six feet of distance.

The randomized study, the results of which are still being analyzed, was conducted over two weekends this month. Riverside County health officials originally planned to test 3,500 randomly selected residents to determine whether they had been exposed to coronavirus and developed COVID-19 antibodies.

Here are some preliminary results from the study:
- 1,726 individuals were tested and 101 showed they had developed antibodies for COVID-19, this is a positivity rate of 5.9 percent.
- 1,621 tested negative; Four had unclear results.
- Based on that data, it is estimated there have been between 118,000 and 175,400 infections in Riverside County.

This study describes the prevalence of COVID-19, which will be used to inform planning efforts. This study is unique in that it included both children (5 years and older) and adults. Antibodies are part of the body’s defense against infections. Antibodies develop and stay in the blood even after the infection is over.

Public Health is not creating a list of participants and will not collect the individual information from the study.

“The data gleaned from the study provides important information that will help guide our efforts and direction as we move forward,” said Dr. Errin Rider, laboratory director for Riverside University Health System-Public Health. “We appreciate those who agreed to take part in the study; they have contributed to the fight against the pandemic.”

Residents could not volunteer for the study, in part, because health officials wanted a more representative sampling of the community.

 “We believe the number and variety of participants shows the study successfully recruited an excellent representation of the community and accurately reflects the prevalence of the antibody in Riverside County,” said Dr. Tait Stevens, with Riverside University Health System and co-author of the study.

As a reminder, the medical community does not yet know the extent of the benefits of testing positive for coronavirus antibodies. For example, it is not yet known if someone can contract the virus again after testing positive for antibodies.

“We continue to learn new information about coronavirus, and this survey adds important research to the growing knowledge of COVID-19,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “We still must protect everybody out there who is susceptible to getting sick, and we should do so by wearing face coverings, physical distancing, washing our hands and avoiding gatherings.”


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Media contact:
Riverside County Joint Information Center
951-955-5087
Public contact: 2-1-1

Riverside County health officials ask residents to call 9-1-1
when they have urgent health needs

Riverside County SealRiverside County health officials are reminding residents to seek emergency care when they have potentially serious symptoms such as chest pains, shortness of breath or signs of a stroke, and not wait to call 9-1-1 out of fear of catching coronavirus.

Officials are concerned that residents are waiting too long to call 9-1-1 when they begin to have symptoms because they are afraid of contracting COVID-19 at the hospital or during transport to a medical facility. By waiting, the patients may come into the hospital in more serious condition then they would have otherwise.

“Our Emergency Management System and hospital providers have taken numerous measures to prevent exposure and spread of coronavirus,” said Bruce Barton, director of the Emergency Management Department. “It is important that patients call 9-1-1 when serious symptoms first develop, so they can begin to receive the care that will help them recover more quickly. In some cases, these delays can be a matter of life and death.”

Hospitals have implemented individual surge plans to cope with the influx of COVID-19 patients in addition to handling patients who have other critical problems. These surge plans include increasing the number of ICU beds within the facility and techniques on how to prevent exposure and spread of coronavirus.

“With health emergencies, every second is critical,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “The sooner people experiencing strokes, heart attacks, appendicitis or any type of urgent medical need can get to the hospital and get treated, the greater the chance for survival and successful recovery. I commend our health care workers who, in addition to being on the frontlines of the pandemic, provide life-saving quality care when it is immediately needed.”


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July 22, 2020

There are 368 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths in Banning.

Governor Newsom Announces Enhanced State Stockpile,
Purchase of 420 Million New Protective Masks


State will maintain a stockpile of 100 million N-95 respirators and 200 million surgical masks to increase preparedness heading into the fall

California also moves to secure an additional 120 million N-95 masks and 300 million more surgical masks for distribution to front-line workers through new bridge contract

Seal_of_the_Governor_of_CaliforniaSACRAMENTO – Taking aggressive action to boost California’s long-term supply of life-saving personal protective equipment both now and into the fall months, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced new actions to strengthen the state’s response to COVID-19.

“Providing front-line workers the protective equipment they need is critical to our state’s response to COVID-19,” said Governor Newsom. “Securing a reliable supply chain of PPE allows us to distribute millions of protective masks to our essential workforce while preserving millions more in our state’s stockpile for future use.”

Further building a stable stockpile so that health care and essential workers in California do not face the same supply shortages that characterized the early stages of the pandemic, Governor Newsom has directed the Department of Public Health and Office of Emergency Services to further increase the state’s strategic stockpile to 100 million N-95 respirators and 200 million surgical masks by early fall in order to account for the potential need given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

Today’s announcement builds on early action taken by the state to secure a stable, reliable supply chain and envision short and long-term strategies to procure respirators and masks.

California’s strategy has paid off. The state has been able to supply millions of medical providers, essential workers, and schools with critical PPE to preserve public health and safety. To date, the state has distributed 86.4 million N-95 respirators and 297 million surgical masks to Californians working on the front lines against COVID-19, including to our hospitals, emergency responders, farm and factory workers and nursing home workers.

In order to fulfill the stockpile goal, which was developed in consultation with health leaders and informed by advanced modeling data, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has entered into a new contract with California-based BYD North America to produce 120 million N-95 respirators and 300 million surgical masks for the state.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has created worldwide competition and shortages for vital PPE supply, with certified N-95 respirator masks in highest demand. California, like other states and national governments all over the world, is working to secure a reliable supply of PPE for the front-line health care workforce and other critical infrastructure workers.

California has also been able to help other states with their unmet emergency PPE needs, supplying 17 million surgical masks to our neighbors in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Alaska.

The contract with BYD can be viewed here.

Ensuring Continued Supply

Today’s announcement is part of an ongoing effort to move expeditiously in a globally competitive market to meet California’s anticipated demands, by putting a bridge contract into place with the critical supply of life-saving masks.

The bridge contract signed today with BYD will ensure California can provide PPE to its front-line workforce during the ongoing global pandemic, at a competitive price rate and with an established and reliable partner.

In the longer term, California is establishing a leveraged master procurement where any manufacturers can apply, and California purchasers can secure supplies at competitive pricing.

Other Actions to Secure PPE

This new bridge contract is part of a wider effort by the administration to prioritize the acquisition, dispersal and reuse of critical personal protective equipment and other emergency assets and commodities during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the public health and safety.

Operation Airbridge: The state has worked closely with FEMA and the federal government to provide a total of 14,757,500 N-95 masks, and 87,552,500 surgical masks to private sector medical providers who sold to hospitals and clients.

Safely Making CA: In June, the Governor announced a partnership with the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) to allow small businesses, health care providers and others in need of PPE to purchase PPE directly from the California-based businesses.

There are approximately 400 companies signed up to sell non-medical grade PPE on this website. Since the Governor announced Safely Making CA, the site has had over 40,300 unique hits, with 435 product listings (e.g. cloth masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and gloves).

For more information about California PPE manufacturers, visit: www.safelymakingca.org

Battelle Units: Through partnership with FEMA, the state leveraged Battelle Critical Care Decontamination systems to decontaminate N-95 respirators, allowing for their reuse during the supply chain shortage of this critical piece of PPE. On April 20, the first Battelle site was established in Burbank. The second was established in Fremont on April 25.

As of July 19, California’s Battelle units have decontaminated 194,865 N-95 respirators, with 1,904 facilities signed up for the service.

Facilities currently utilizing the decontamination units include hospitals, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, first responders, state and local government, U.S. Veterans Affairs hospitals and other health care facilities.


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ADVISORY FOR THE OPERATION OF YOUTH TEAM SPORTS

Riverside County SealThe County of Riverside has received many inquiries from local sports groups about whether they can start team sports again. Please allow this letter to serve as an advisory that the State of California has not permitted team sports to resume. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has specifically confirmed that no team sports, conditioning or drills are permitted under any of the current guidance. Recreational team sports will be permitted in a separate guidance from CDPH specific to that topic which has not yet been released. The Day Camp Guidance published by CDPH may not be used as a means to facilitate team conditioning, practicing, or training for any organized or recreational team sports, including school, club, and travel teams. 

As you likely know, on March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20, ordering all persons to stay at home to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. This Order encompasses the Order of the State Public Health Officer, also dated March 19, 2020, which states in relevant part: "To protect public health, I as State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health order all individuals living in the State of California to stay at home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors 

The State then set out California’s path forward from this "Stay-at-Home" Order in California’s Pandemic Resilience Roadmap. That Road map identifies four stages of the pandemic: safety and preparation (Stage 1 ); reopening of lower-risk workplaces and other spaces (Stage 2); reopening of higher-risk workplaces and other spaces (Stage 3); and finally an easing of final restrictions leading to the end of the Stay-at-Home Order (Stage 4). 

On May 7, 2020, it was announced that statewide data supported the gradual movement of the entire state of California into Stage 2 of the Pandemic Resilience Road Map. On May 22, 2020, the County of Riverside was permitted to move forward into the State’s "accelerated Stage 2" of the Pandemic Resilience Roadmap. 

Please be advised that on July 1, 2020, CDPH issued "Guidance on Closure of Sectors in Response to COVID-19" to 19 counties on the County Monitoring List, including Riverside County.

Please be further advised that also on July 2, 2020, due to the community spread of infection across the State, and most particularly in those counties on the State’s Monitoring List, the State Public Health Officer and Director of CDPH issued an Order restricting the indoor operations of other facilities such as bars, pubs, breweries, brewpubs, dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, and card rooms within the County of Riverside. These closures shall remain in effect until further order of the State’s Public Health Officer, but will be removed no sooner than July 22, 2020. 

The County of Riverside’s public health officials are concerned about the number of schools, sports leagues, travel teams and clubs that are resuming practice, conditioning and play despite the State’s Orders. Riverside County officials are seeking your help to spread the word to your community groups that team sports, conditioning and drills ARE NOT PERMITTED within any CDPH issued guidance at this time. 

Should you have any questions, please contact Kelly Moran, Supervising Deputy County Counsel, at kmoran@rivco.org. Your cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated. 

Sincerely,
Gregory P. Priamos
County Counsel


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July 21, 2020

There are 355 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths in Banning.


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July 20, 2020

There are 336 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths in Banning.

ADVISORY CONCERNING LIVE MUSIC EVENTS

Riverside County SealThe County of Riverside has been advised that some restaurants, wineries, parks, and other local establishments may be hosting live music or entertainment events. Please allow this letter to serve as an advisory that offering or holding live entertainment, including live music, is not permitted under the current Orders of Governor Newsom and the California State Public Health Officer.

As you are likely aware, on March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20, ordering all persons to stay at home to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. This Order encompasses the Order of the State Public Health Officer, also dated March 19, 2020, which states in relevant part: “To protect public health, I as State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health order all individuals living in the State of California to stay at home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors…” A copy of this Executive Order can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/img/Executive-Order-N-33-20.pdf.

The State then set out California’s path forward from this "Stay-at-Home" Order in California’s Pandemic Resilience Roadmap. That Roadmap identifies four stages of the pandemic: safety and preparation (Stage 1); reopening of lower-risk workplaces and other spaces (Stage 2); reopening of higher-risk workplaces and other spaces (Stage 3); and finally an easing of final restrictions leading to the end of the Stay-at-Home Order (Stage 4). https://www.gov.ca.gov/wpcontent/uploads/2020/04/Update-on-California-Pandemic-Roadmap.pdf

On May 7, 2020, it was announced that statewide data supported the gradual movement of the entire state of California into Stage 2 of the Pandemic Resilience Road Map. On May 22, 2020, the County of Riverside was permitted to move forward into the State’s “accelerated Stage 2”. Subsequently, restaurants and wineries were permitted to open in compliance with applicable State Industry Guidance.

On July 2, 2020, due to the community spread of infection, the State Public Health Officer and Director of California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued an Order restricting the indoor operations of certain businesses within the County of Riverside, including bars, pubs, breweries, brewpubs, dine-in restaurants, wineries, and tasting rooms,. This closure remains in effect until further order of the State’s Public Health Officer. A copy of this Order can be found here: https://rivcoph.org/Portals/0/Documents/CoronaVirus/July/HealthProviders/State-PublicHealth-Order-7.13.2020.pdf?ver=2020-07-14-080724-327×tamp=1594739273570

Also on July 2, 2020, the State’s COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Restaurants, Bars, and Wineries was updated. This document, which can be found here https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-restaurants-bars.pdf, specifically states: “This guidance is not intended for concert, performance, or entertainment venues. Restaurants, bars, and wineries must discontinue this type of entertainment until these types of activities are allowed to resume modified or full operation. All events or gatherings that would bring together persons from different households, such as private parties, must be cancelled or postponed until further notice”. Restaurants must “Close dance floors and discontinue performances such as musical or dance acts that encourage large gatherings.” 

Similarly, the State’s Industry Guidance for Restaurants providing outdoor dining, takeout, drivethrough, and delivery, last updated on July 9, 2020, states: “This guidance is not intended for concert, performance, or entertainment venues. Those types of establishments should remain closed until they are allowed to resume modified or full operation through a specific reopening order or guidance. Establishments that serve full meals must discontinue this type of entertainment until these types of activities are allowed to resume modified or full operation.” (See Page 3 of the Industry Guidance found here: https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidanceoutdoor-restaurants.pdf.)

Most recently, on July 13, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom and California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) expanded statewide its indoor closures for businesses that encourage mixing of individuals beyond immediate households and make physical distancing and wearing face coverings difficult. The Order also provides that for counties on the County Monitoring List, including the County of Riverside, “the risks and impacts of disease transmission are even greater.” Therefore, the Order required the immediate closure of indoor operations of additional businesses, events, and activities in Monitoring List counties. The July 13, 2020 Order is available at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID19/SHO%20Order%20Dimming%20Entire%20State%207-13-2020.pdf

“Concerts” are currently listed as a “Stage 4” activity in the Pandemic Resilience Roadmap. It remains unclear at this time when concerts and/or live music events will be permitted as this is dependent upon certain public health metrics being met by the County. Because of this, the County’s public health officials need your help in both complying with and spreading the word about the State’s Orders which prohibit live music events at restaurants, wineries, parks, and other local establishments at this time. If you are aware of a business or organization hosting or promoting live music events, please contact: Gregory Priamos, County Counsel, at gpriamos@rivco.org, and Kelly Moran, Supervising Deputy County Counsel, at kmoran@rivco.org. Your cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
GREGORY P. PRIAMOS
County Counsel


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July 18, 2020

There are 319 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths in Banning.

State Officials Announce Latest COVID-19 Facts

state sealDate: July 19, 2020Number: NR20-166
Contact: CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health today announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.

  • California’s positivity rate – a key indicator of community spread – is trending upward in the 14-day average. 
  • Hospitalization rates are also trending upward in the 14-day average. 
  • Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed, and the 7-day average more accurately describes trends in number of cases. The 7-day average number of new cases is 9,127 per day. The 7-day average from the week prior was 8,664. California has 384,692 confirmed cases to date.

  • There have been 6,286,852 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 1119,634 over the prior 24-hour reporting period. As testing capacity continues to increase across the state, an increase in the number of positive cases has been expected – increasing the importance of positivity rates to find signs of community spread.

  • There have been 7,685 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

  • A total of 32 counties are required to close indoor operations for certain sectors based on the July 13 order to slow community transmission.

    July 19 CA COVID-19 Numbers

Testing in California
The California Department of Public Health released updated testing guidance on July 14 that focuses on testing hospitalized individuals with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and people being tested as part of the investigation and management of outbreaks, including contact tracing. The testing guidance also prioritizes individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms and individuals without symptoms who fall into high-risk categories, including people who live and work in nursing homes, homeless shelters and prisons, healthcare workers, and patients in hospitals. The new guidance will ensure that Californians who most need tests get them even if there are limited supplies. 


Data and Tools
A wide range of data and analysis guides California’s response to COVID-19. The state is making the data and its analytical tools available to researchers, scientists and the public at covid19.ca.gov.

Popular links include:


Racial Demographics – A More Complete Picture
The California Department of Public Health is committed to health equity and collecting more detailed racial and ethnic data that will provide additional understanding for determining future action. Health outcomes are affected by forces including structural racism, poverty and the disproportionate prevalence of underlying conditions such as asthma and heart disease among Latinos and African American Californians. Only by looking at the full picture can we understand how to ensure the best outcomes for all Californians.

The differences in health outcomes related to COVID-19 are most stark in COVID-19 deaths. We have nearly complete data on race and ethnicity for COVID-19 deaths, and we are seeing the following trends: Latinos, African Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are dying at disproportionately higher levels. More males are dying from COVID-19 than females, in line with national trends. More information is available at COVID-19 Race and Ethnicity Data.

Health Care Worker Infection Rates
As of July 18, local health departments have reported 19,487 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 107 deaths statewide. 

County Monitoring Data
California is using data and science to respond to COVID-19. Data by county gives Californians insight into how their county is doing and provides an early indication of developing areas of concern. Counties on the County Monitoring List for three or more consecutive days – currently 32 counties accounting for 80 percent of the state’s population – must close indoor operations for additional activities.

County Monitoring List July 19


For more information, visit the County Data Monitoring webpage.

Your Actions Save Lives
Every person has a role to play. Protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:  

  • Staying home except for essential needs/activities following local and state public health guidelines when patronizing approved businesses. To the extent that such sectors are re-opened, Californians may leave their homes to work at, patronize, or otherwise engage with those businesses, establishments or activities.

  • Practicing social distancing.

  • Wearing a cloth face mask when out in public.

  • Washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Covering a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterward.

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.

  • Answer the call if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect. Contact tracers will connect you to free, confidential testing and other resources, if needed.

  • Following guidance from public health officials.


What to Do if You Think You’re Sick
Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath), call your health care provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken. More than 100 community testing sites also offer free, confidential testingg: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.

For more information about what Californians can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California.

California continues to issue guidance on preparing and protecting California from COVID-19. Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance web page


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July 17, 2020

Governor Gavin Newsom Lays Out Pandemic Plan
for Learning and Safe Schools

Plan centers on rigorous instruction for students even when schools are physically closed

Decisions to open in-person will be determined by local data that the public can track on a daily basis

Schools open for in-person instruction will implement precautions, including a requirement that students in 3rd grade and above wear masks

Newsom: “In California, health data will determine when a school can be physically open – and when it must close – but learning should never stop”

Seal_of_the_Governor_of_CaliforniaSACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced his plan for learning and safe schools ahead of the 2020–2021 school year, as the California Department of Public Health issued a framework for when and how schools should reopen for in-person instruction.

“Learning is non-negotiable,” said Governor Newsom. “The virus will be with us for a year or more, and school districts must provide meaningful instruction in the midst of this pandemic. In California, health data will determine when a school can be physically open – and when it must close – but learning should never stop. Students, staff, and parents all prefer in-classroom instruction, but only if it can be done safely.”

The Governor’s plan centers on five key areas:

1) Safe in-person school based on local health data
The California Department of Public Health today issued updated schools guidance that includes using existing epidemiological metrics to determine if school districts can start in-person instruction. CDPH currently uses six indicators to track the level of COVID-19 infection in each California county as well as the preparedness of the county health care system – data that includes the number of new infections per 100,000 residents, the test positivity rate, and the change in hospitalization rate, among others. Any county that does not meet the state’s benchmarks is put on the County Monitoring List.

Schools located in counties that are on the Monitoring List must not physically open for in-person instruction until their county has come off the Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days. Schools in counties that have not been on the Monitoring List for the prior 14 days may begin in-person instruction, following public health guidelines. School community members – including parents, teachers, staff and students – can track daily data on whether and why their county is on the Monitoring List at https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/#track-data.

There is a single exception. Local health officers may grant a waiver to allow elementary schools to reopen in-person instruction if the waiver is requested by the district superintendent, in consultation with labor, parents and community-based organizations. When considering a waiver request, the local health officer must consider local data and consult with the California Department of Public Health.

The Department also issued updated guidance for when schools must physically close and revert to distance learning because of COVID-19 infections. Following a confirmed case of a student who was at school during his or her infectious period, other exposed students and staff should be quarantined for 14 days. The school should revert to distance learning when multiple cohorts have cases or 5 percent of students and staff test positive within a 14-day period. The district should revert to distance learning when 25 percent or more of its schools have been physically closed due to COVID-19 within 14 days. Closure decisions should be made in consultation with local health officers. After 14 days, school districts may return to in-person instruction with the approval of the local public health officer.

2) Strong mask requirements for anyone in the school
In the updated guidance, all staff and students in 3rd grade and above will be required to wear a mask or face covering. Students in 2nd grade and below are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Students should be provided a face covering if they do not have one. The state has delivered over 18 million face coverings to schools to support them to reopen and ensure all students can participate in learning.

3) Physical distancing requirements & other adaptations
In the updated guidance, CDPH requires that all adults stay 6 feet from one another and 6 feet away from children, while students should maintain 6 feet of distance from one another as practicable. Anyone entering the school must do a health screen, and any student or staff exhibiting a fever or other symptoms will be immediately sent home. The guidance also provides that if anyone in a student or staff member’s household is sick, they too should stay home.

4) Regular testing and dedicated contact tracing for outbreaks at schools
The public health guidance recommends staff in every California school be tested for COVID-19 periodically based on local disease trends and as testing capacity allows. The Governor also announced today that the state will provide resources and technical assistance for COVID-19 investigations in school settings.

5) Rigorous distance learning
Over the course of the pandemic, most schools will likely face physical closure at some point due to COVID-19. The Legislature and Governor Newsom enacted a budget that provided $5.3 billion in additional funding to support learning, and set requirements to ensure schools provide rigorous and grade-appropriate instruction. Under newly enacted state law, school districts are required to provide:

  • Devices and connectivity so that every child can participate in distance learning.
  • Daily live interaction for every child with teachers and other students.
  • Class assignments that are challenging and equivalent to in-person instruction.
  • Targeted supports and interventions for English learners and special education students.

The full guidance from the California Department of Public Health can be found here: https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools.pdf


___________________________________

Media contact:
Riverside County Joint Information Center
951-955-5087
Public contact: 2-1-1

Skilled Nursing Facility Reopens to Patients After April Evacuation

Riverside County SealA Riverside skilled nursing facility where more than 80 patients were evacuated in April reopened today. The California Department of Public Health reviewed the facility and approved its reopening. 

The Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center was in the national spotlight when patients were evacuated by first responders from the county, City of Riverside and local ambulance providers. 

The facility worked with the state and county for several months on its reopening plan, including providing additional employee training and personal protective equipment. The county’s Skilled Nursing Facility Outreach and Support (SOS) teams visited the facility twice in recent weeks. 

The facility started accepting patients today, marking a comeback story for its owner, its employees and Riverside County, said Dr. Frank Flowers with the Riverside University Health System. 

“This is a facility where long-time employees formed bonds with patients for many years,” Dr. Flowers said. “Back in April, many of those employees tested positive for the coronavirus and did not go to work to protect those people. It was heartbreaking for these workers to not be with their patients.” 

Veronica Mayes, owner of the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, praised her team and expressed her graciousness toward Dr. Flowers and the county during an informal, welcome-back speech at the facility on Thursday. 

By telephone, Ms. Mayes said she was pleased to be able to help people again.

“Even in the darkness, there is always light,” she said. “You always find a new path. The people inside here are what make it a home.”

On April 8, Riverside University Health System and Kaiser Permanente sent 33 licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses to care for the 84 residents at the facility. The action was prompted after one certified nursing assistant – out of 13 staffers scheduled to work that day – was the lone employee at Magnolia. Ultimately, the patients were evacuated to other facilities throughout the county, and county employees notified family members of the evacuation.

“The reopening of Magnolia Rehabilitation Center will be a big help to ease the burden from our local hospitals,” said Vice Chair Karen Spiegel. “Skilled nursing facilities treat patients recently discharged from the hospital and they are a critical part of our surge plans.”


___________________________________

July 16, 2020

There are 310 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths in Banning.


___________________________________

July 15, 2020

There are 295 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths in Banning.

Media contacts:
Riverside County Joint Information Center
951-955-5087
Lee Rice
Public Information Officer, Eisenhower Health
310-210-6192
Public contact: 2-1-1

Federal medical team to assist at Eisenhower Health hospital in Rancho Mirage

Riverside County SealA team of federal doctors and nurses are arriving at Eisenhower Health hospital Thursday to support the facility as the hospital copes with the influx of coronavirus patients.

The team of doctors, physician assistants, critical care nurses and respiratory technicians assigned to Eisenhower is part of a state of California request for federal support to medical facilities throughout California.

“We are grateful to receive this support from FEMA and the federal medical team, and I appreciate the emergency operations center team for pursuing this effort at the request of Eisenhower Health,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “These are crucial resources as we all work together at the federal, state and local levels of government to overcome this pandemic.”

The federal team is made up of active military medical personnel. “The federal support will provide much-needed assistance to Eisenhower at a time when the entire medical system deals with the rise in coronavirus cases,” said Bruce Barton, director of the County of Riverside Emergency Management Department. “That assistance will make a difference for those who are being impacted by this virus that has taken so many lives.”

Federal medical teams are also assisting other California counties.

“The hospital is nearing capacity in our ICU and on our Covid-19 units,” says Alan Williamson, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Eisenhower Health. “Currently, we only have three more ‘staffed’ beds available in the ICU. Additionally, we are approaching 80 percent of bed capacity within the hospital, but are at virtually 100 percent of our staffing capacity. We are grateful for the support from FEMA and its Air Force Medical response team. It comes at a critical time.”


___________________________________

___________________________________


July 13, 2020

There are 284 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths in Banning.

Media contact:
Riverside County Joint Information Center
951-955-5087
Public contact: 2-1-1

More businesses required to move activities outdoors or close

Riverside County SealEffective today, more businesses in Riverside County are now required to move their activities outdoors as part of statewide actions to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

The governor’s announcement today impacts 30 counties, including Riverside County, that are on the state’s monitoring list. Newsom said the order to move activities outdoors was necessary to reduce the spread of coronavirus and curb the recent increase in hospitalizations. Riverside County has experienced a steady rise in confirmed cases, hospitalizations and patients requiring intensive care dating back to Memorial Day.

Those businesses that cannot move activities outside must close.

The new restrictions include:
-- Fitness centers and gyms
-- Worship services
-- Offices for non-critical sectors
-- Personal care services
-- Hair salons and barbershops
-- Malls 

These businesses may still do curb-side retail, so long as there are no indoor operations.

“As we struggle with national laboratory issues artificially depressing new case counts, people need to realize we’re far from being out of the woods,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer. “Summer heat isn’t stopping COVID-19, but for some of these sectors, the heat means there may be no good way to do them outdoors. We need to reduce the impact on our hospitals by reducing transmission, and as long as the numbers keep rising, the state’s need to reimpose restrictions will keep rising too.”

Riverside County health officials remind all residents that in addition to these new restrictions, there is still a statewide stay at home order in effect and residents should not gather with family and friends who live in different households, attend parties or join social gatherings. These are known places where the disease is spread. Riverside County officials also remind residents to get screened at one of the many coronavirus testing sites located throughout the region. More than 270,000 tests have been conducted in Riverside County so far. For more information on testing, click www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus/testing.


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July 11, 2020

There are 277 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths in Banning.


State Officials Announce Latest COVID-19 Facts


Contact: CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov


state sealSACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health today announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.

  • California’s positivity rate – a key indicator of community spread – is trending upward in the 14-day average.
  • Hospitalization rates are also trending upward in the 14-day average. 
  • Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed, and the 7-day average more accurately describes trends in number of cases. The 7-day average number of new cases is 8,664 per day. The 7-day average from the week prior was 6,987. California has 320,804 confirmed cases to date.
  • There have been 5,406,599 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 130,904 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period. As testing capacity continues to increase across the state, an increase in the number of positive cases has been expected – increasing the importance of positivity rates to find signs of community spread.
  • There have been 7,017 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic. 
  • A total of 31 counties are required to close indoor operations for certain sectors based on the state’s July 1 order to slow community transmission.

July 12 CA COVID-19 Numbers Opens in new window


Testing in California
As testing capacity continues to increase across the state, the California Department of Public Health is working to expand access to COVID-19 testing. Testing should be used for medical evaluation of persons with symptoms of COVID-19 as well as for efforts by public health agencies and essential employers to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. Individuals prioritized for testing include: 

  • Hospitalized patients
  • Symptomatic and asymptomatic healthcare workers, first responders, and other social service employees
  • Symptomatic individuals age 65 and older or symptomatic individuals of any age with chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 illness
  • Individuals who are tested as part of disease control efforts in high-risk settings
  • Asymptomatic residents and employees of congregate living facilities when needed to prevent disease transmission
  • Symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in essential occupations such as grocery store and food supply workers, utility workers and public employees
  • Other individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19

Data and Tools
California has collected a wide range of data to inform its response to COVID-19 and developed tools to help process and analyze that data. The state is making these data and tools open and available for researchers, scientists, and technologists at covid19.ca.gov.

Racial Demographics – A More Complete Picture
The California Department of Public Health is committed to health equity and collecting more detailed racial and ethnic data that will provide additional understanding for determining future action. Health outcomes are affected by forces including structural racism, poverty and the disproportionate prevalence of underlying conditions such as asthma and heart disease among Latinos and African American Californians. Only by looking at the full picture can we understand how to ensure the best outcomes for all Californians.

The differences in health outcomes related to COVID-19 are most stark in COVID-19 deaths. We have nearly complete data on race and ethnicity for COVID-19 deaths, and we are seeing the following trends: Latinos, African Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are dying at disproportionately higher levels. More males are dying from COVID-19 than females, in line with national trends. More information is available at COVID-19 Race and Ethnicity Data.

Health Care Worker Infection Rates

As of July 11, local health departments have reported 17,636 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 99 deaths statewide. 

County Monitoring
As of July 11, counties are required to close indoor operations for certain sectors based on the state’s July 1 order to slow community transmission.

  1. Colusa           
  2. Contra Costa           
  3. Fresno
  4. Glenn
  5. Imperial         
  6. Kern   
  7. Kings  
  8. Los Angeles  
  9. Madera        
  10. Marin 
  11. Merced        
  12. Monterey
  13. Napa 
  14. Orange
  15. Placer
  16. Riverside
  17. Sacramento
  18. San Benito    
  19. San Bernardino
  20. San Diego
  21. San Joaquin 
  22. Santa Barbara
  23. Santa Clara
  24. Solano
  25. Sonoma
  26. Stanislaus
  27. Sutter 
  28. Tulare
  29. Ventura        
  30. Yolo  
  31. Yuba

For the counties on the County Data Monitoring list, please visit this CDPH webpage.


Your Actions Save Lives
Every person has a role to play. Protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:  

  • Staying home except for essential needs/activities following local and state public health guidelines when patronizing approved businesses. To the extent that such sectors are re-opened, Californians may leave their homes to work at, patronize, or otherwise engage with those businesses, establishments or activities.

  • Practicing social distancing.

  • Wearing a cloth face mask when out in public.

  • Washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Covering a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterward.

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.

  • Answer the call if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect. Contact tracers will connect you to free, confidential testing and other resources, if needed.

  • Following guidance from public health officials.


What to Do if You Think You’re Sick
Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath), call your health care provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken. More than 100 community testing sites also offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.

For more information about what Californians can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California.

California continues to issue guidance on preparing and protecting California from COVID-19. Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance web page.


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Ahead of Peak Fire Season, Governor Newsom Announces More Firefighting Support Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Published:


State has never been better prepared to meet wildfire season 

In early season fires, major changes to emergency operations and sheltering have been made to protect firefighters and evacuees


Seal_of_the_Governor_of_CaliforniaMCCLELLAN PARK – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom visited McClellan Air Force Base to highlight the state’s wildfire mitigation capabilities and discuss new efforts to protect emergency personnel and evacuees from COVID-19 during wildfires. The Governor also announced the state would hire 858 more firefighters and six California Conservation Corps (CCC) crews through October because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor was joined at McClellan by CAL FIRE Chief Thom Porter and CAL OES Director Mark Ghilarducci.

“Even in the midst of a global pandemic, the State of California hasn’t taken its eye off the threat of wildfire,” said Governor Newsom. “California is better prepared against the threat of wildfire today than at any time in our history. Even in a challenging budget climate, we have undertaken major action and made significant investments to fortify our state and help fight increasingly severe wildfires.”

In the past year and a half, California has taken major action and made critical investments to fortify wildfire preparedness and response capabilities. CAL FIRE completed the last of its 35 emergency fuels management projects in May, making 90,000 acres safer ahead of wildfire season and protecting 200 vulnerable communities.

Major investments include augmenting CAL FIRE air fleet with new FIREHAWK S-70i helicopters and C-130 airplanes, and bolstering firefighting surge capacity and pre-positioning capabilities. The state also launched an Innovation Procurement Sprint to develop early warning technologies and place fire detection cameras across the state. This year’s budget included $85.6 million in new, ongoing dollars to fund permanent firefighting positions, and continues the funding for CAL FIRE to procure innovative technology that allows us to model fire behavior.

Ahead of wildfire season, the state won critical safety victories from PG&E to make the utility more accountable to the state and ensure wildfire safety and reliability are top priorities. The state gained new oversight authority over wildfire and public safety power shutoffs and increased safety expertise inside the company. The Governor also signed SB 350, which enacted real consequences if the company doesn’t act safely – up to and including a company takeover. The state bolstered requirements for all of the state’s investor-owned utilities’ wildfire prevention operational plans and requires utilities to invest $5 billion in infrastructure. All three large IOUs have taken steps to reduce the size and scope of public safety power shutoffs by hardening infrastructure, reducing hazards through vegetation management, sectionalizing the grid so that smaller areas can be taken offline, and improving weather monitoring technology and modeling.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CAL FIRE has adjusted firefighting operations to mitigate the spread of the virus within its own crews by holding virtual briefings and keeping non-essential base camp staff off site. CDSS and CAL OES have updated mass care and sheltering protocols to include health screenings, dedicated cleaning staff and medical professionals on site.

“Wildfire season this year carries an extra layer of danger as the state responds to the spread of fires and the ongoing heath pandemic,” said Chief Porter. “It is of the utmost importance that we keep our crews healthy so they can continue their work and that we adjust evacuation and shelter plans to protect communities from the spread of COVID-19.”

All new sheltering protocols require:

  • Health screening on entry
  • Dedicated cleaning staff at all sites
  • Pre-packaged meals
  • Medical and mental health professionals on site

In the event of an evacuation, the state is prepared to secure hotel rooms, college dormitories, Airbnb, fairgrounds, and campgrounds to allow individuals to shelter in non-congregate settings.

July 8, 2020

There are 265 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths in Banning.


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July 8, 2020

There are 255 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 8 deaths in Banning.

Riverside County
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Brooke Federico
(951) 743-0075
bcfederico@rivco.org

County services to move to virtual methods

Riverside County SealIn response to the growing number of local coronavirus cases and sharply rising hospitalizations, county services will again be primarily offered through online methods, over the phone or by mail. The County Administrative Center, along with many other county buildings, will close to the public on Monday, July 13.

County government will continue to perform the services relied upon by residents, business owners and visitors. Community members should visit county department websites, or call for assistance on how to complete requests virtually. These virtual methods have allowed the county to continue to safely conduct important business throughout the entire coronavirus pandemic.

“Virtual methods have been long-standing and efficient ways to conduct business with the county. As one of the largest employers in the area, the county family is dedicated to providing high-quality services in a safe manner for our employees and visitors,” said County Executive Officer George Johnson. “Departments have diligently worked to add these safeguards to workspaces, including providing more telecommuting options. Returning to virtual means is one way the county is slowing the spread of the disease.”

 County employees will telecommute when practical or continue to work in the office while maintaining social distance from other coworkers. When employees arrive at work, they will be asked health screening questions and required to wear a face covering or face shield. Employees reporting symptoms will be sent home until cleared to return to work.

Next Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting (July 14) will again be held virtually. Members of the public may watch and listen online at livestream.com/rivcolive or www.facebook.com/RivCoCOB/.

Community members may still speak before the board via telephone. To speak during public comment or on an agenda item, register with the Clerk of the Board’s Office at least 24 hours in advance online at www.rivcocob.org/comments. A follow up email with additional instructions will be provided.

Some essential facilities will continue to be open to the public, including health services, public safety services and cooling centers. County libraries will continue to offer curb-side services. Please call ahead to determine if a county facility is open to the public before visiting.


___________________________________

July 7, 2020

There are 243 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 8 deaths in Banning.



Media contact:
Riverside County Joint Information Center
951-955-5087
Public contact: 2-1-1

Health officials need cooperation with contact tracers

25085323910_8e252f43c3_mRiverside County health officials are asking coronavirus patients to provide critically needed information when they are contacted by health investigators working to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Hundreds of contact tracers are working as part of Riverside County’s response to the epidemic that has infected more than 20,000 residents and contributed to about 500 virus-related deaths. The contact tracers reach out to those who test positive for COVID-19 and attempt to determine the source of the infection, who the patient may have been contact with and where the patient may have visited. This information is used to help slow the spread of coronavirus by reaching out to those who may have been infected without identifying the infected patients.

“Unfortunately, in many cases, the person who is contacted is not providing the information that is being sought,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside County Public Health. “This information is critical as we work to slow and eventually stop the spread of coronavirus. It is understandable that patients may be reluctant to discuss sensitive issues, but it is very important that this information is provided.”

Saruwatari emphasized the information that is gathered is not shared with other governmental agencies or with those who are contacted by case investigators. Health officials have used the same techniques for years while investigating health issues like tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases.

“We don’t share individual information and we don’t ding people for being honest,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer. “The only thing new about what we’re doing now is the scale of it. We know how to keep your information private and we ask only what we need to know. But we also need to understand where our hotspots are so we can concentrate on those regions and sectors, and that can’t happen if we don’t find out what we need to.”

Health officials continue to encourage Riverside County residents to take their own steps to slow the spread of coronavirus, like wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing and frequent hand washing. Taking these steps can reduce the spread by up to 95 percent.

“The deadly pandemic caught us all by surprise. But we are resilient and we will overcome,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “In order for our county to thrive we ask you to join us in this war against coronavirus and agree to work with our contact tracers if you are called. Together we will beat this pandemic.” # # #


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State Officials Announce Latest COVID-19 Facts

Date: July 7, 2020
Number: NR20-152
Contact: CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov

state sealSACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health today announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. California’s positivity rate – a key indicator of community spread – is trending upward in the 14-day average. Hospitalization rates are also trending upward in the 14-day average. California has 277,774 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed. There have been 4,896,370 tests conducted in California. As testing capacity continues to increase across the state, an increase in the number of positive cases has been expected – increasing the importance of positivity rates to find signs of community spread. There have been 6,448 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

July 7 CA COVID-19 Numbers

Testing in California

As testing capacity continues to increase across the state, the California Department of Public Health is working to expand access to COVID-19 testing. Testing should be used for medical evaluation of persons with symptoms of COVID-19 as well as for efforts by public health agencies and essential employers to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. Individuals prioritized for testing include: 

  • Hospitalized patients
  • Symptomatic and asymptomatic healthcare workers, first responders, and other social service employees
  • Symptomatic individuals age 65 and older or symptomatic individuals of any age with chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 illness
  • Individuals who are tested as part of disease control efforts in high-risk settings
  • Asymptomatic residents and employees of congregate living facilities when needed to prevent disease transmission
  • Symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in essential occupations such as grocery store and food supply workers, utility workers and public employees
  • Other individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19

As of July 6, there have been 4,896,370 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 103,017 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period. These numbers include data from commercial, private and academic labs, including Quest, LabCorp, Kaiser, University of California and Stanford, and the 25 state and county health labs currently testing. The Department is now reporting all tests reported in California, rather than the total number of individuals tested.

Data and Tools

California has collected a wide range of data to inform its response to COVID-19 and developed tools to help process and analyze that data. The state is making these data and tools open and available for researchers, scientists, and technologists at covid19.ca.gov.

Racial Demographics – A More Complete Picture

The California Department of Public Health is committed to health equity and collecting more detailed racial and ethnic data that will provide additional understanding for determining future action. Health outcomes are affected by forces including structural racism, poverty and the disproportionate prevalence of underlying conditions such as asthma and heart disease among Latinos and African American Californians. Only by looking at the full picture can we understand how to ensure the best outcomes for all Californians.

The differences in health outcomes related to COVID-19 are most stark in COVID-19 deaths. We have nearly complete data on race and ethnicity for COVID-19 deaths, and we are seeing the following trends. Overall, for adults 18 and older, Latinos, African Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are dying at disproportionately higher levels. The proportion of COVID-19 deaths in African Americans is more than one-and-a-half times their population representation across all adult age categories. For Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, overall numbers are low, but the proportion of deaths due to COVID-19 in that group exceeds their population representation. More males are dying from COVID-19 than females, in line with national trends. More information is available at COVID-19 Race and Ethnicity Data.


Health Care Worker Infection Rates

As of July 6, local health departments have reported 16,290 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 94 deaths statewide.

Your Actions Save Lives

Every person has a role to play. Protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:  

  • Staying home except for essential needs/activities following local and state public health guidelines when patronizing approved businesses. To the extent that such sectors are re-opened, Californians may leave their homes to work at, patronize, or otherwise engage with those businesses, establishments or activities.

  • Practicing social distancing.

  • Wearing a cloth face mask when out in public.

  • Washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Covering a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterward.

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.

  • Answer the call if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect. Contact tracers will connect you to free, confidential testing and other resources, if needed.

  • Following guidance from public health officials.


What to Do if You Think You’re Sick

Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath), call your health care provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken. More than 100 community testing sites also offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.

For more information about what Californians can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California.

California continues to issue guidance on preparing and protecting California from COVID-19. Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance web page.


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July 6, 2020

There are 240 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 8 deaths in Banning.


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Contact:
Riverside County Joint Information Center
951-955-5087

July 1, 2020

Selected businesses required to move activities outdoors or close

Riverside County SealSome businesses in Riverside County are now required to move their activities outdoors as part of statewide actions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The governor’s announcement today impacts 19 counties, including Riverside County, that were recently placed on a watch list by state officials. Newsom said the order to move activities outdoors was necessary to reduce the spread of coronavirus, which has seen an upswing in cases statewide and in Riverside County.

Those businesses that cannot move activities outside must close.

The new restrictions include:
--Restaurants
--Wineries and tasting rooms
--Movie theaters
--Family entertainment centers
-- Zoos and museums
--Cardrooms

“We all have a responsibility in slowing this disease. We will follow the governor’s directive and expect all residents, visitors and business owners to do so as well,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “Let’s all do our part to stay safe by wearing face coverings, keeping our distance from others and not attending social gatherings.”

Restaurants and other businesses may still do takeout, so long as there is no indoor dining.

The new rules come as residents prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday and follow an order issued Monday by Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser to close bars to slow the spread of the virus.

Riverside County health officials remind all residents there is still a statewide stay at home order in effect and social gatherings are known places where the disease is spread. Residents and visitors should celebrate the holiday at home – without visitors.

Riverside County officials also remind residents to get screened at one of the many coronavirus testing sites located throughout the region. More than 230,000 tests have been conducted in Riverside County so far. For more information on testing, click www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus/testing.


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July 3, 2020

There are 224 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 8 deaths in Banning.



Seal_of_the_Governor_of_CaliforniaGovernor’s Order Closing Indoor Services and Sectors 


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Governor Newsom Launches “Wear a Mask” Public Awareness Campaign in Response to Surge in COVID-19 Cases

Campaign will launch ahead of the Fourth of July weekend in English and Spanish

SACRAMENTO — As COVID-19 cases rise throughout the state and in advance of the Fourth of July weekend, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the “Wear A Mask” public awareness campaign encouraging Californians to use face coverings – one of the best ways people can protect themselves and others from the virus. The campaign is taking an aggressive approach to slowing the spread of COVID-19, which will save lives and allow the state to reopen the economy. The campaign, which will continue until at least the end of the year, will kick off in English and Spanish and then expand into other languages later this month.

“We all have a responsibility to slow the spread. It is imperative – and required – that Californians protect each other by wearing masks and practicing physical distancing when in public so we can fully reopen our economy,” said Governor Newsom. “We all need to stand up, be leaders, show we care and get this done.”

The campaign will begin with a statewide push ahead of the holiday weekend. Broadcast and radio PSAs are being distributed in English and Spanish with local ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Univision, Telemundo, Ethnic Media Services, and iHeart Media affiliates. Billboards and outdoor advertisements are visible statewide in both English and Spanish thanks to ClearChannel, Lamar, VisCom Outdoor, iKahan Media, and LED Truck Media. The campaign includes a variety of shareable social media content with key messages on why and how to wear a mask.

In the coming weeks, the campaign increasingly will focus on those who have been disproportionately harmed by this pandemic, particularly California’s Black and Latinx communities. Messages will be translated into seven languages and delivered by trusted messengers. In addition, the Listos California emergency preparedness campaign will be supporting paid media efforts and bolstering community engagement efforts.

The “Wear a Mask” campaign received seed funding in partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, The Skoll Foundation, Rick Caruso, Tom Steyer, the CDC Foundation, and Sierra Health Foundation. It’s a continuation of the “Your Actions Save Lives” campaign that has promoted critical public health messaging throughout the pandemic, raising more than $10.75 million in cash and $27 million in in-kind partnerships with multimedia organizations and members of the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs recovery. Additional cash contributions and partnerships will be announced in the coming weeks.

Videos

Wear a Mask

Behind the Mask

I Care

Billboards

Social Media Assets


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July 1, 2020

There are 210 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 8 deaths in Banning.

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


Seal_of_the_Governor_of_CaliforniaSACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order extending authorization for local governments to halt evictions for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through September 30.

The order also addresses a variety of issues in response to the pandemic, by extending provisions in earlier orders which allow adults to obtain marriage licenses via videoconferencing rather than in-person during the pandemic; waive eligibility re-determinations for Californians who participate in Medi-Cal, to ensure they maintain their health coverage; suspend face-to-face visits for eligibility for foster care; and permit In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program caseworkers to continue caring for older adults and individuals with disabilities through video-conferencing assessments.

The order also extends waivers temporarily broadening the capability of counties to enroll persons into the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, allowing for self-attestation of pregnancy and conditions of eligibility, and waiving in-person identification requirements.

In addition, the order extends provisions allowing for mail-in renewals of driver’s licenses and identification cards, to limit in-person transactions at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and extends timeframes related to the payment of real estate license application and renewal fees and continuing education requirements for licensees.

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


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