City of Riverside Encourages Local Residents and Businesses to Heed Gov. Newsom’s New Advice on COVID-19

Published: 03/16/2020



March 16, 2020



Phil Pitchford

Public Information Officer


[email protected]


City of Riverside Encourages Local Residents and Businesses to Heed Gov. Newsom’s New Advice on COVID-19

Measures are designed to reduce the spread of the deadly virus

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The City of Riverside advises local residents, especially those 65 and older, and local businesses to heed the advice issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday (3/15) in a further effort to slow the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus COVID-19.

Newsom said Californians age 65 and older, who are most vulnerable to the virus, must practice home isolation. He also said that bars, nightclubs, wineries, and breweries in the state “should close,” and that restaurants should focus on providing takeout food for people who are isolating themselves. He also called on everyone to “maximize social distancing” by keeping at least six feet away from another person.

The state is “working in real time to secure hotels, motels, and trailers to house our homeless safely and protect our communities and the spread of COVID-19,” Newsom said. He added that these actions will protect the state’s most vulnerable residents and ensure that the healthcare system, grocery stores, pharmacies and social service providers will continue to operate.

“The Governor’s words emphasize how imperative it is to take the necessary steps to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 to ensure we continue to have the capacity at our hospitals to treat the sick,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “This is especially true for our senior population, which is at the greatest risk.”

No utility shut-offs will be undertaken by Riverside Public Utilities at least until the end of April. Information about unemployment insurance can be found here: https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm Online services in Riverside, including permitting and bill payments, will remain available; bills may also be paid by phone, or by mail. Utility payments centers will have drop boxes available at the Orange Street facility downtown and at a facility in the Casa Blanca neighborhood.

The state Department of Public Health website stated as of Monday morning that California had 335 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and six deaths. The department advised that smartest things to do to keep yourself safe continue to be:

  • Washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterward.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
  • Following guidance from public health officials.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread should call their health care provider or local public health department before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken, according to the department.

The City of Riverside declared a local emergency on Friday (3/13) to increase its efforts to protect the public from the coronavirus (COVID-19). Many City offices, including City Hall, libraries and community centers, are closed and will not re-open until at least March 23.

Most city employees will continue to report to work for their regular schedules. The decision to close public buildings to the public will be reviewed each Monday, starting March 23. A list of closures and other COVID-19 information can be found at RiversideCA.gov/COVID-19.

The declaration of local emergency will not affect the work schedules of Police, Fire, and Riverside Public Utilities employees whose work is required to provide the city with water and power.

“Every day we take the necessary precautions is a day that we, as a community, are doing our best to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy,” Mayor Pro Tem Erin Edwards said. “It is essential that we all do our part.”


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