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Riverside County orders all residents to cover their faces when they leave home

Riverside County Public Health representatives on Saturday ordered all residents to cover their faces as they leave home, marking a dramatic escalation of county officials in their efforts to curb the spread of the new corona virus.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser said despite previous green from county officials that residents should socialize, cover faces and stay at home, “more and more” residents were infected by the virus and “not everyone gets the message.”

“We’re changing from saying you̵

7;re going to saying you have to,” Kaiser said in a prepared statement published by the county.

As of Saturday, Riverside County has reported 665 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while 18 people have died from the disease, officials say.

Face coatings may include bandages, scarves, “or other clothing that does not have visible holes,” according to a prepared statement from the county. Medical-grade masks, such as the N95, should be reserved for healthcare professionals and first responders, the statement says.

Los Angeles and the Bay Area had previously called on residents to cover their mouths and noses, and San Diego County yesterday ordered all major workers to do the same, part of a broader effort by local governments and the state to flatten out the pandemic curve before hospitals become overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.

But Riverside County’s new mandate is much stricter and requires everyone leaving the house to cover.

The order also bans all gatherings of people except family members who live in the same home, according to the county’s news release.

In the sharply worded news release, police said they have the authority to execute the order “as they deem necessary.”

“We have already lost two of our alternates to this virus. I ask you all to honor them by staying home, ”said Sheriff Chad Bianco.

The curfew also applies to church services, according to the county. Significant companies such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations are not affected.

An official noted that Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week, the week before Easter, and that this was a good time to show their love for their neighbors.

“Palm Sunday, Easter and Easter are holy days. The best way to exercise our love for God is to love our neighbor. This means that you stay at home and look at the holiday at home, says the county administrative board’s chairman V. Manuel Perez.

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