October 22, 2020
Virus testing will determine if Riverside County remains 'red'
RIVERSIDE – (INT) – Riverside County is in danger of slipping back into the purple tier of counties with widespread coronavirus unless more testing shows otherwise.

If more individuals are found to be testing negative, the numbers could be in the county’s favor demonstrating that the virus is not widespread.

Coronavirus tests for active infections slows the spread of the disease by identifying infected individuals who can then be isolated as well as their close contacts. This process disrupts the disease, slows the spread of the disease and preserves space in our acute care hospitals.

In addition, increased testing of those with symptoms and those without symptoms will help the county remain in the red tier, which allowed more businesses as well as schools and places of worship to reopen indoors. Late last month, Riverside County moved from the more restrictive purple to the red tier because it met the criteria for positivity and case rates.

“Riverside County residents have sacrificed so much, and the improved data has reflected that sacrifice. But it is critical that the community continue its wide-spread testing,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of Public Health. “The testing tells us where the virus is spreading, and it also helps us continue our movement forward.”

The state recently began adjusting the case rate higher for counties that are not meeting the state’s daily average testing volume, which brought Riverside County’s case rate above seven per 100,000.

While Riverside County has the volume to test 4,000 people a day, less than half that number have been getting tested at county and state testing sites in recent weeks. There are also mobile teams that support testing in specific communities, businesses or organizations by testing for one or two days.
Story Date: October 20, 2020
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