Coronavirus numbers drop in Riverside County

Photo courtesy of Unsplashed. Residents and students monitor covid virus. updates on their phone.

Photo courtesy of Unsplashed. Residents and students monitor covid virus. updates on their phone.

With over 960,000 deaths in the United States from the Coronavirus pandemic, our world has flipped upside down. Studies show that reported cases have been diminishing over the last few months. With a 7-day average of at least 3,000 cases in 2020, the New York Times reported 60,000 new cases before the new year. Riverside County contributes to four thousand of these cases. Desert cities like The Coachella Valley have increased restrictions. Coronavirus came in heavy at the beginning of 2021, with the highest reported new cases California has ever seen. With a weekly average of 40,000 cases, the peak was a reported case count of 51,000 on Jan. 8, 2021. The later weeks of February were when cases started to diminish significantly. There was a continuous sequence of cases that averaged one thousand to two thousand cases from March to July. From August to November of 2021, cases flourished with the influence of the holidays, increasing cases to six thousand on average. 

These bipolar case reports have led restrictions across the United States, specifically in California, to escalate. As of March 12, mask mandates for the Coachella Valley have been dropped. As of now, there is no restriction as to wearing masks or proof of vaccination in restaurants or bars. Officials report that masks will continue to be worn in official city halls, medical offices and hospitals.

Photo courtesy of PixHive. A woman wearing a face mask and a hair net.

Riverside County is considered a “low risk” under CDC guidance. With precautions taken within these past months, such as COVID-19 vaccines and testings, the Coachella Valley has seen a wave of freedom.

Now, in school and child care facilities, masks are not required. Although facial coverings are recommended, most are electrified with the sense of familiarity from pre-pandemic. It’s unfamiliar for younger children to adapt to wearing masks, but they have handled the situation at hand very well over these past two years.

Desert Sands Unified School District has since reached out, “Superintendent Bailey will be recommending that the DSUSD Board of Education, in a special meeting later this week, align the district’s COVID-19 safety protocols with the most recent guidelines for students. Contingent on board approval, masks would become optional for students in indoor school settings after March 11, 2022.” 

As for College of the Desert, safety requirements have been set and require masks on campus at all times. Any objections to these COVID-19 protocols will result in being asked to leave the campus. Other current safety requirements from College of the Desert include proof of vaccination. Students and staff are expected to submit authorization of records per District procedures. Washing and sanitization of hands are expected amidst the pandemic.

As of March 29, speculations of a second booster shot were publicized after the FDA authorized a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines for older and immunocompromised individuals. This second booster dose will now be available to those at higher risk for severe disease, hospitalization and death.

For further information, visit the US Food and Drug Administration.