RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser Friday ordered the closure of all county schools in an attempt to fight against the spread of coronavirus.
“To further prevent the spread throughout the county, effective Monday, March 16, I am ordering a school closure, not a dismissal, of all Riverside County public schools. This order also applies to preschools, charter schools, private schools and all colleges and universities in Riverside County,” Kaiser said in a statement.
Kaiser also applauded area school districts that already announced closures starting Monday.
According to the release, individual school districts would have the discretion to determine essential personnel to support critical functions within their districts.
The order was expected to be lifted on Friday, April 3 with classes expected to resume Monday, April 6 — barring the necessity for an extension — Kaiser said.
“This is a difficult but necessary decision as we try to slow the spread of the virus,” Riverside County District 4 Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “And I fully support it.”
As of Friday, Riverside County has 12 confirmed cases – 10 in Coachella Valley and two cruise ship passengers who have not returned to the region since being diagnosed – and Kaiser has recommended seniors and those with underlying health issues in Coachella Valley limit non-essential travel. One of the Coachella Valley cases is considered “community spread,” meaning health investigators have not determined the source of the infection.