Riverside County expected to Qualify for Faster Phased Reopening

Riverside County expected to Qualify for Faster Phased Reopening

Taylor Martinez

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the expansion of the avenues of eligibility for counties to accelerate business reopening in a phased approach.

Riverside County will look into what those businesses are and particular guidance’s for these businesses to safely reopen.

For counties to progress, they’re no longer required to have zero COVID-19 related deaths over the last two weeks.

Instead, over a seven day period, counties can not have more than 8 percent of their residents test positive for the virus, and can’t have a five percent increase in coronavirus hospitalizations.

The medical director for the emergency department at Eisenhower Health says the new standards seem fair due to the way the virus is trending.

“Right now we’ve seen a very steady state in the number of COVID patients and we haven’t seen a large surge in any critical care patients or anything like that, so we’ve been testing more and the numbers are staying flat so that’s a good sign,” said Dr. Kontaxis.

V. Manuel Perez also believes the county will fit the newly required guidelines, as only 1 percent of the county has tested positive for the virus throughout the pandemic.

He released this statement about the recent measures:

“This is hopeful and positive news for local businesses in Riverside County, Southern California and across our great state. The Governor listened to the input received by our counties. Riverside County was proud to demonstrate our successes in protecting essential workers and vulnerable populations, being a leader in testing, expanding contact tracing, providing for surge capacity in our health care system, and identifying triggers for modifications. I believe it’s because we’re meeting these metrics and showing downward trends that the Governor’s office is working with us and assisting our counties in advancing the economy in a safe way while we fight this pandemic.

“As a result of our residents staying in place and practicing physical distancing, and all the efforts of our county staff and partners, we are targeting hot spots like skilled nursing facilities, we are providing equipment to agricultural workers, we have a strong inventory of personal protective equipment, we are expanding testing, hiring contact tracers and growing our hospital surge capacity.

“Riverside County is keeping its foot on the pedal and doing everything we possibly can to suppress the coronavirus and move the economy forward. This is an effort that has balance. It is going to be very important that we continue to work with our state partners as we move towards getting more sectors of the economy safely reopened.

“We value our relationship and support by the state government and commend Governor Newsom and his staff for always being accessible and responsive to Riverside County.”

The Governor’s announcement follows a letter sent by Riverside County along with Southern California counties that comprise over a quarter of the state’s population seeking consideration of criteria to make urban counties eligible for regional variances.