April 22 Coronavirus Update from Supervisor V. Manuel Perez
Dear Fourth District and Riverside County residents,
As we continue to fulfill our mission of protecting the safety and health of the residents and communities of Riverside County, I would like to highlight some positive developments in our response to coronavirus.
We are proud to be one of the leaders throughout the State of California when it comes to testing, thanks to Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser and Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari leading the charge. We are the leading county among urban counties, having tested nearly 1.5 percent of our population, and we are outpacing the state testing rate. Testing has now expanded to include individuals who do not have symptoms. I very much appreciate Riverside County Public Health, which is providing testing in the Blythe community starting today. We aim to build on our testing capacity, which is important to having a representative and accurate picture of the situation.
Over the weekend, the Governor of California gave a shout-out to Riverside County for our work with Project Roomkey, a statewide initiative to provide hotel rooms for those experiencing homelessness. Gov. Gavin Newsom said, “We’ve had amazing partnerships not only with Santa Clara County, but Yolo County, Merced County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County and Ventura County – and there’s a reason I mention those counties. They have simply done more than all of the other counties to really support this effort.” We are honored by these kind words of praise and I wish to thank our housing special programs and outreach teams, under the leadership of Carrie Harmon and Tanya Torno alongside the mass shelter and care team led by Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton. To date, they have placed over 300 of our most vulnerable residents into safe emergency housing.
With so many efforts that are happening, we have a standing press conference at 2:30 p.m. every Friday to report these developments. These press conferences are streamed live on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/VManuelPerez4th/.
Gov. Newsom recently laid out a plan with six key goals for getting folks back to work, but doing that responsibly with a clear science-based approach. My fellow Supervisors are all active in planning economic recovery and approved the formation of a taskforce to identify opportunities to help us more rapidly recover. Riverside County also moved forward with modifications to the public health orders regarding forms of outdoor recreation recognizing that, with proper safety guidelines, residents can benefit from healthy activities that promote physical exercise, wellness and behavioral health.
These are encouraging signs that we can look ahead to the future, however, we have to be cautious. We have to focus on the central challenge that is upon us, and strive on and finish the work we are in.
We must continue staying in place, keeping our space and covering our face. These are the best tools that we have right now to overcome this pandemic and flatten the curve.
Residents are answering the call to stay at home as much as possible and practice physical distancing and wearing a face covering to protect everyone out there, and I thank you all for that. It is making a significant difference, and this progress is a credit to everybody doing his or her part and working for the common good.
These times are very tough and they are going to be challenging. Know though that we have a phenomenal team and residents who continue to reflect the best in us. Thank you once again for your efforts and good work.
V. Manuel Perez
Chair, Riverside County Board of Supervisors
Supervisor, Fourth District