COVID-19 Update: Upswing in Cases Alert

Published: 06/30/2020

Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser has ordered all bars in Riverside County closed to help slow the spread of coronavirus, which has seen a recent upswing in confirmed cases. The order, which was effective Tuesday (June 30, 2020), comes on the heels of a recommendation from Gov. Gavin Newsom, who suggested Sunday that Riverside and seven other counties on a watch list close their drinking establishments.

Furthermore, over the past fourteen days, our region has seen a dramatic 50% increase in COVID-19 cases within Riverside County and a 37% increase in the City of Riverside. California has seen a 43% increase.  The County of Riverside’s most recent positivity rate was well above the 8% threshold set by the State. 

Just a few weeks ago, ICU bed capacity was beginning to spike; that trend has only since increased.  Riverside County is near capacity for licensed ICU bed space while hospitals within the city of Riverside are at capacity, even with the largest number of ICU beds in total. Due to this dramatic increase, our local hospitals are now implementing their expanded capacity surge plan.  As part of this plan, they are to convert regular hospital rooms to ICU beds in order to accommodate patients.  The County has experienced the highest ICU COVID+ totals so far over the past few days. 

Having our local hospitals at ICU capacity affects all patients that need an intensive care unit.  While we can’t prevent all patients needing emergency care for various reasons, our community can definitely help reduce the number of COVID-19 positive patients, thus leaving additional beds available for others.

Actions taken today by the public will determine what local hospital capacity looks like in the weeks to come.

We strongly encourage all to do the following:
1.)  Mask up! -  Wearing a face covering is perhaps the easiest way to keep safe by limiting each other’s droplets and reducing the spread. It’s easy, it works, it’s required.

2.)  Avoid social gatherings outside your immediate household – Large groupings or parties increase the likelihood of spreading COVID-19.  Please resist the temptation to gather with people outside of your household particularly over celebratory holidays.

3.)  Continue to practice physical distancing and regular hand washing.  An at-capacity ICU impacts all residents, businesses, and employees within our community. 

Together we can save lives, reduce the spread, and relieve the strain on our much-needed health care system. 

Riverside County Department of Public Health: RivCoPH.org/coronavirus