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Mayor Bailey’s Update on COVID-19 for March 18th. VIDEO TEXT I know you all continue to watch the COVID-19 situation closely, there are a lot of moving parts and unanswered questions – the ambiguity is uncomfortable –we feel it too. • Riverside County’s Public Health Officer – Dr. Cameron Kaiser – has primary responsibility for public health and he is particularly concerned about the impact that a mass outbreak would have on our medical systems. • Sadly, Riverside County reported its first three COVID-19 deaths this week, all in the Coachella Valley. We are also starting to see our first confirmed cases in Western Riverside County. • As a result of these growing concerns, Dr. Kaiser has lowered the threshold of mass public gatherings to fewer than 10 people with enough available room to maintain six feet of space between attendees. • Please keep in mind that there are limited exemptions to the 10-person rule, including healthcare facilities, grocery stores, daycare centers and other essential services. We are all, now, too familiar with the term social distancing. • You can learn more about Riverside County’s directives by visiting – www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus • We are being asked frequently about testing. • The county has limited tests available and a local lab is now operational. If you are feeling under the weather, you are FIRST encouraged to consult with your regular doctor. • But keep in mind, as we expand our testing efforts, we expect to see a sizable increase in positive diagnoses. • You are likely aware that the County Public Health Officer has extended all school closures through April 30th. • As your children are home, we encourage you to work with them to further their learning and to invest in quality family time. Lean into this opportunity, some day you will miss these days. • As parents we must always remember that our kids look to us for comfort and confidence during uncertain times. • We understand that this situation will cause financial hardship on many employees and small business owners. • Please know that all levels of your governments are taking proactive steps to help those who will suffer financial hardships during this pandemic. • If your family has been financially impacted by COVID-19, you may immediately qualify for unemployment benefits. • Please visit www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus- 2019.htm • We have announced that Riverside Public Utilities will suspend all “shut offs” through the end of April and we will send a letter tomorrow asking every other major utility company operating in our city to follow suit, if they have not already done so. • The City has also suspended collection of all fees owed to the city, including but not limited to parking tickets, code enforcement violations, and business tax. • Finally, Riverside Public Utilities will immediately reinstate all customers who have had their utilities cut off in the last 30 days. Verified 30 days with RPU via Moises. • If you can pay your utility bills, we ask that you continue to do so. This is not a “get out of jail free card”, but instead immediate action to help families with unexpected cash flow challenges. • As you can imagine, things are changing quickly. • Please know that your entire city team is working tirelessly on behalf of our residents and we will be doing periodic updates to ensure you are receiving timely information. • Our grocery leaders assure us that they have plenty of supply and are working diligently to move goods and restock our shelves. Please do not continue to rush the grocery stores, our seniors are especially concerned about running out of food. • That’s enough for today. • For more information about COVID-19 including guidelines, closures, business planning resources, and local updates, please visit the City’s COVID-19 web page: RivesideCA.gov/COVID-19. • Be safe and Be good to each other. CONNECT WITH US! #ILoveRiversidehttps://www.facebook.com/CityofRiversidehttps://twitter.com/riversidecagovhttps://instagram.com/cityofriverside/ http://exploreriverside.com/ http://riversideca.gov/videos/ www.WatchRiverside.com