Why State Health Officials Are Keeping a Close Eye on Riverside County

Eleven California counties have been placed on a state “watch list” due to a steep rise in COVID-19 cases and/or hospitalizations. They include Santa Barbara, Kern, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside.

One of the counties health officials are particularly concerned about is Riverside. The county had 14,431 cases as of Tuesday, with 7,009 recovered and 431 deaths. The testing positivity rate is around 9%, which is relatively high, and the area is seeing increased hospitalizations as well.

Officials say outbreaks at state prisons and skilled nursing facilities, recent protests, patient transfers from neighboring Imperial County, an influx of patients from Northern Baja California, and an overall increase in social gatherings have contributed to Riverside’s climbing numbers. California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly says he is monitoring the county closely.

Riverside announced Monday that it is launching a new antibody testing program, which it hopes can help slow the spread.

Read more at Patch.