Riverside County is in the purple, most restrictive reopening tier, and local cities are feeling the pressure as season arrives.
“Right now we all feel a little bit helpless, but we’re not,” said Palm Desert Council member Jan Harnik in a video posted on Sunday.
The county’s positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise as it pushes further away from the red tier requirements.
“Let’s work together, keep that mask on so that we can flatten the curve and we can have our businesses open and support our community. We need to do more testing to make that happen,” COVID-19 week wrap-up: new daily records and travel advisoriessaid Harnik.
In September, the county recorded between 200 and 300 positive cases a day, but now that number hovers below 800.
The county’s adjusted case rate is also currently at 13.9, and needs to be at seven to move to the red tier.
But what worries local health experts the most, are the rising hospitalization numbers as the pandemic overlaps with traditional flu season.
Eisenhower Health data shows a sharp increase over the last week, and doctors say this a trend they expect to see throughout the coming months.
“It looks very, very similar, unfortunately, to what we saw in the summer when we really took off and had that huge spike up into the 90 range. So, we’re very concerned that this might be the beginning of something very bad for us once again,” said Dr. Alan Williamson, the Chief Medical Officer at Eisenhower Health.
Nationally, numbers and deaths are spiking as well and the country set new daily case records almost every day over the last week.
Just in the month of November, the country has seen over 100-thousand new cases 11 out of 14 days.
And as California passes one million COVID-19 cases, a new travel advisory has been put in place.
It suggests travelers coming into the state quarantine for 14 days, and asks residents to stay local.
The move comes as the Thanksgiving holiday is less than two weeks away, and now local leaders are urging residents to stay diligent.
“So go get tested, and let’s put those guidelines into place and into work, and let’s open up safely,” said Harnik.
To move to the next tier, the county also has to fit the red tier parameters for two weeks, meaning the county will be in the purple at least for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, Pfizer says their vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, but it is unclear when it will be available for the public.