Many residents are frustrated with COVID restrictions and how the county is handling the COVID crisis. In a recent board of supervisors meeting nearly 30 people addressed the board saying they want the county to end the public health emergency.
County officials say that although we are moving in a positive direction restrictions will stay in place and for good reason. They also explain that we have met the criteria of where we need to be in order to move to the red tier, now we need to keep numbers steady until the county gives the okay to do so.
But many are unhappy with COVID restrictions and want them gone.
“I’m here with many of my fellow freedom-loving patriots to say we want a resolution to end the public health emergency order now, there’s no premise for the public health emergency orders to be in place, there’s no pandemic,” said Nancy S., Riverside County Resident.
“I am requesting in the strongest possible terms for the board of supervisors to vote to terminate this local health emergency,” said Candice Kelly, Riverside County Resident.
But top county health officials explain why COVID-19 restrictions still play an important role.
“With COVID-19 rising in 11 states we could go the wrong direction in a hurry if people think the disease is finished with us. I say it every chance that I get, but this isn’t over until there’s a vaccine,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Public Health Officer of Riverside County.
We asked officials where Riverside County stands today.
“Our case rate, which is the one we were having issues with is now at 6.7% per 100,000 which is below the 7 that was necessary to go to the next level, and our positivity rate is 6.4. we were already below where we needed to be, but it’s even better now,” said Jose Arballo Jr. Senior Public Information Specialist of Riverside County.
County officials explain that numbers need to remain in this range for two weeks, and by next week, depending on the numbers, they may decide on whether to move to the next tier.
“Now we’re in that weird area. how do we go from there and get that magical number again so that we don’t have to defy the governor or some other very extreme measure,” said Jeff Hewitt, Riverside County Supervisor of District 5.
“Just because we are going into another level doesn’t mean we suddenly stop doing the things that we know work really well which is wearing the face mask, social distancing, frequent handwashing. we still have the possibility of not going to the next level because we’re still waiting for whatever impact if there is one from the labor day weekend,” explained Arballo.
County officials are not expecting a jump in cases, they want to be cautious before moving into the red tier which will allow more businesses to open with larger capacities.