County Officials Say More Testing Is Needed To Move To Next Tier

County Officials Say More Testing Is Needed To Move To Next Tier

Nico Payne

Riverside County health officials are asking residents to continue testing for coronavirus as more tests are needed to move into the next tier for the state’s reopening plan. The county has reached a positivity rate that will allow the county to move into the red tier, but case rates remain higher than the state’s requirement.

In order to move into the red tier, our case rate needs to be at 7.8%. Riverside County currently stands at 8.6%, but officials explain what we can do to bring that number down.

“Because we are not matching the state average per 100,000 in the way of testing, our formula is a little different than it was just a couple of weeks ago,” said Jose Arballo Jr., Senior Public Information Specialist with Riverside County.

County public health officials explain how increasing testing could help riverside county advance to the next tier.

“It’s a little complicated but in essence what happens if we’re able to increase our testing per 100,000, the formula that the state would use for us would make it easier to get to that next level,” explained Arballo

Current state criteria require counties to be placed within tiers due to their case rate. Riverside County must be lower than seven new cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate lower than 8 percent to fall into the red tier allowing retail to increase capacity to 50% and allowing mall food courts to begin operations.

“I think anything we can do as a community to help the public officials responsibly moves us through the danger zone of the pandemic is a good thing,” said John Stebbins, visiting from Encinitas, California.

“I think riverside has been doing really well actually, compared to somewhere like Los Angeles. A lot of people are scared to get tested possibly, you know that they are going to contract the coronavirus,” said Elizabeth Taubman, Cathedral City Resident.

County officials are urging residents to continue to get tested as they are starting to see numbers decrease at mobile testing sites.

“Our drive-ups in Lake Elsinore and in Indio and in Sears, it was in the hundreds a day, four and five, or six-hundred a day. Now we have appointments for sometimes less than a hundred.”

Riverside County has the volume to test 4,000 people a day, but officials say we are only reaching half that. For more information on testing sites and where you can get tested, you can visit https://gettested.ruhealth.org/

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