23 May 2020 Blog Post: COVID-19 Update in Riverside County

Two weeks ago, readers will remember that Riverside County officials voted unanimously to rescind local public health orders regarding COVID-19 risk reduction measures. These included rolling back restrictions on vacation rentals and golf. Previously mandated face-coverings in public were no longer required. Further, the motion amended a school closure order. Adding to this, Sherriff Chad Bianco refused to enforce local coronavirus lockdown protocols (link).
 
At the time of the decision, I pointed out that lifting these measures was misguided given that new case rates were still in decline and that mortality rates, while not increasing, were plateaued at their highest rate.
 
I am sure if you have been reading my posts to date, you can already guess what has happened in Riverside County (which has the second highest number of cases in California after Los Angeles County), I will keep you in suspense no longer.
 
It gets worse.

Mortality rates (Figure 2) have climbed, and are now at an all time high since the beginning of the epidemic. While there was a stable rate of 0.25 deaths per 100,000 population for the past three weeks, this rate is now 0.28 deaths per 100,000.

It is unclear to me why Riverside County elected officials have chosen to experiment with their own population. I do not have an expectation that Sheriff Bianco or the Board of Supervisors would necessarily understand the pubic health impact of their decision, as none have formal medical training. However, Dr. Cameron Kaiser who is the County’s Public Health Director should have known better – but has been silent. Now there are numbers to prove that unchecked political decision making is leading to more COVID-19 deaths among Riverside County residents than ever before.

𝗦𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗨𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝘀𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿

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