The Riverside County health official ordered all residents to cover their faces when they left the house on Saturday, which is a dramatic escalation of district officials as they attempt to slow the spread of the novel corona virus.
Dr. Cameron Kaiser said, despite earlier requests from county officials to move residents away, cover their faces, and stay at home, “more and more” residents were infected with the virus and “not everyone gets the news.”
“We are switching from the statement that you should to the statement that you should,” said Kaiser in a prepared statement released by the county.
As of Saturday, Riverside County has reported 665 confirmed cases of COVID-1
Facial coverings can include headscarves, scarves or “other clothing without visible holes”, according to a prepared statement by the district. Medical masks like the N95 should be reserved for healthcare workers and first aiders, the statement said.
Los Angeles and the Bay Area had previously asked residents to cover their mouths and noses, and San Diego County yesterday ordered all key workers to do the same. This was part of a broader effort by local governments and the state to smooth the curve of the pandemic beforehand. Hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
However, Riverside County’s new mandate is far more stringent and requires anyone leaving the house to cover up.
According to the district press release, the order also prohibits all gatherings of people with the exception of family members who live in the same house.
The sharply worded press release states that police officers have the power to enforce the orders “at their own discretion”.
“We have already lost two of our substitutes to this virus. I ask all of you to honor them by staying at home, ”said Sheriff Chad Bianco.
According to the district, the ban on assembly also applies to places of worship. Important businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies and petrol stations are not affected.
One official noted that for Christians, Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the week before Easter, and that this was a good time to show their love for their neighbors.
“Palm Sunday, Passover and Easter are holy days. The best way to practice our love for God is to love our neighbor. That means staying at home and watching the holidays at home, ”said V. Manuel Perez, chairman of the county supervisory board.