RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) – Health officials in Riverside County have ordered the cancellation of all mass gatherings in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser announced Thursday that all gatherings of 250 people or more are banned.
This comes after the California Department of Public Health and Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order Wednesday that all such nonessential gatherings should be postponed or canceled.
People in smaller gatherings should exercise social distancing, which includes maintaining a distance of six feet per person.
Riverside County now has eight confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Riverside County Public Health Department reports. They include six people in the Coachella Valley and two passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship who have not returned to the region since getting diagnosed.
One of the Coachella Valley patients acquired the disease through community-spread, meaning they did not contract it through a known source. It indicates that the virus was not contracted through relevant travel history or contact to a known case of COVID-19. At last report, the patient was being treated at the Eisenhower Medical Center.
Back on Jan. 29, nearly 200 American evacuees were flown in to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County from the Chinese province where the coronavirus is believed to have been started. That quarantine expired Feb. 11 and those people were released. None of them tested positive for coronavirus.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus — is spread from person-to-person through close contact, usually within 6 feet, and mainly via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. People are likely most contagious when they are most symptomatic. Coronavirus can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth, nose and eyes.