In response to the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases, Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser today ordered that no gatherings of any number of people may take place outside of family members residing in the same home.
Dr. Kaiser also ordered everyone to wear a face covering when leaving home, including essential workers. Face coverings can be bandanas, scarves, neck gaiters or other clothing that does not have visible holes. Residents should not purchase N95 or surgical masks, as these limited resources are needed for the healthcare community and first responders.
“While more and more Riverside County residents are getting COVID-19, not everybody’s getting the message,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer. “It started with staying home, social distance and covering your face. But now we change from saying that you should to saying that you must.”
The purpose of this order is to encourage compliance with these important measures that have been implemented to flatten the curve. Pursuant to this order, law enforcement agencies throughout the county have the authority to enforce these orders as they deem necessary. This order runs through April 30.
“We have already lost two of our deputies to this virus. I am asking all of you to honor them by staying at home,” said Sheriff Chad Bianco.
The no gathering order does not apply to essential businesses, including healthcare offices, grocery stores or gas stations. However, these businesses must use social distancing measures to keep clients and customers six feet apart and all employees must now wear face coverings.
All churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship are prohibited from all in-person gatherings, this includes drive-in religious services.
“Palm Sunday, Passover and Easter are sacred days. The best way to practice our love for God is loving our fellow neighbor. That means staying home and observing the holidays at home,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “I also want to thank Sheriff Bianco and all our law enforcement partners for their dedicated service during this pandemic and for enforcing these orders to keep our residents and essential workers safe.”
These orders are made in conjunction with the governor’s stay at home order issued on March 19, as well as Dr. Kaiser’s latest school closure order issued on April 1, latest short-term rental order issued on April 2 and the golf course closure order issued on April 2.
As of April 4, Riverside County has 665 confirmed cases, 18 deaths and 60 recoveries. Earlier this week, Kaiser recommended face coverings for anyone when they leave home.
Residents should not call 9-1-1 to report groups of people who are not at an essential business. 9-1-1 must remain open for emergencies only.
Here’s the order: