riversideca.gov
COVID-19/Coronavirus Update

City of Riverside Orders Closure of Local Bars, Breweries and Wineries to Slow Spread of COVID-19 Virus

Published: 03/16/20




 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 16, 2020

           

Contact:

Phil Pitchford

Public Information Officer

951-826-5975

ppitchford@riversideca.gov

 

 

City of Riverside Orders Closure of Local Bars, Breweries and Wineries to Slow Spread of COVID-19 Virus

Decision follows action by Riverside County’s Public Health Officer and guidance from state

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The City of Riverside ordered the temporary closure of bars, breweries and wineries on Monday (3/16) and called for restaurants and cafes to be closed for in-restaurant seated dining, and should be open only to drive-through or other pick-up/delivery options. The regulations mirror many suggestions made later in the day by the state Department of Public Health. The sale of food on a take-out basis and for delivery can occur 24 hours per day.

The city’s order came shortly after Riverside County’s Public Health Officer cancelled all gatherings with an expected presence of 10 individuals based on an imminent and proximate threat to public health from the introduction of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Riverside County. The World Health Organization has characterized COVID-19 as a worldwide pandemic.

“Containment of the virus is critical to our medical system being able to respond appropriately to an outbreak, and these steps will help with that,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “This is the next evolution of our efforts to keep Riversiders safe during a global health crisis.”

Late Monday, the state Department of Public Health issued a notice that all bars, wineries, breweries and pubs should be closed, except for venues that are currently authorized to provide off sale beer and wine to be consumed off premises are allowed. Bars, breweries, pubs, and wineries that include meals provided by a full kitchen should follow the restaurant guidance below if they provide delivery or pick-up options.

The department also said that restaurants should be closed for in-restaurant seated dining, and should be open only to drive-through or other pick-up/delivery options. Restaurants also should increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing of all hard surfaces, including tables and counter tops used by employees and patrons during pickup/delivery options.

The city rules, which are effective at 6 a.m. on Tuesday (3/17) and last 60 days unless terminated or extended by the City Council, are in place as part of the proclamation of a local emergency to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus COVID-19. The rules are scheduled to be ratified by the Riverside City Council during a 1 p.m. meeting Tuesday in the Council chambers, 3900 Main Street.

The new rules are the latest in a string of government interventions during the past week designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Riverside County’s Public Health Officer on March 8 declared a local health emergency based on an imminent and proximate threat to public health from the introduction of COVID-19 in Riverside County. On March 10, the County of Riverside ratified the local emergency.

On March 11, Gov. Newsom issued a policy recommending the cancellation of public gatherings of 250 people or more and limitations on gatherings of people who are at higher risk for COVID-19 to 10 people or fewer, and delaying or canceling meetings where attendees cannot observe at least six (6) feet of “social distance” from one another.

That same day, the California Department of Public Health issued guidance regarding large gatherings of 250 people or more. On March 13, President Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency. Also, on March 13, the City of Riverside declared a local emergency to increase its efforts to protect the public from COVID-19.

The City of Riverside’s proclamation of local emergency notes that “there exists conditions of a disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons or property within the territorial limits of the City of Riverside that are beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the City for the reason of COVID-19.”

“This decision was not easy, and it was not taken lightly. The health effects of COVID-19 are real, and they are serious,” Mayor Pro Tem Erin Edwards said. “These steps will help slow the spread of the virus and give our medical system the ability to properly treat the people who do fall ill.”