Local officials ordered the closure of all golf courses in Riverside County – both public and private – as part of the response to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The order was issued Thursday evening.
“There was some confusion over the closure of golf courses, and we believe this order makes it perfectly clear that golf courses are not an essential business and people must stop gathering on courses,” Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said.
“The governor’s stay-at-home order means exactly that,” Kaiser said. “Unless you’re the gardener, stay off the greens.”
Following the governor’s stay-at-home executive order early last month, Riverside County issued guidance that public and private golf courses should be closed.
This new order is one of several issued by Dr. Kaiser during the pandemic to slow the spread and flatten the curve.
“Clearly and disappointingly, golf courses remained opened and put many people at risk,” Kaiser said. “That’s why it has come to this.”
Riverside County health officials Thursday confirmed 64 more cases of coronavirus and an additional fatality, bringing the countywide case total to 493 and the death toll to 14.
The latest death was a man in his 80s from Eastvale, according Jose Arballo, a spokesman for the Riverside University Health System.
Ten additional recoveries were also reported Thursday, bringing that total to 50 since the first case of coronavirus was reported within Riverside County on March 8.
“We do expect that number to continue rising,” Arballo said. “There are some people that will get through it.”
The number of cases, however, is also anticipated to continue rising. On Tuesday, county health officials estimated that by April 12, all 102 of the county’s intensive care unit beds could be full. By April 22, all hospital beds could fill up, as well.
More than 5,000 Riverside County residents have been tested for the virus as of numbers available Thursday, Arballo said.