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Riverside County Health Officials Report First 2 Coronavirus-Related Death, Cancel Gatherings Of 10 Or More

COACHELLA VALLEY (CBSLA) — Public health officials in Riverside County announced the first two coronavirus-related deaths Monday.

"Our thoughts are with the families of the two patients," said Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser. "Sadly, these outcomes are expected as we face a serious challenge and continue to make the necessary decisions to protect the health of the community."

Also Monday, Kaiser revised previous order restricting public gatherings from 250 people or greater to no more than 10.

The new health order restricts mass gatherings of 10 people or more, and orders that gatherings with fewer than 10 people must have enough available room to maintain six feet of space between attendees — known as social distancing.

Healthcare facilities, grocery stores, daycare centers and restaurants serving take-out are exempt from the rule.

"My condolences and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones," said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. "More so now than ever before, we must practice social distancing to flatten the curve. We will be consistently working for the benefit of our communities in these tough times that are before us."

All Riverside County schools, from elementary to college, were also ordered to be closed.

Kaiser recommended that senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions in the Coachella Valley avoid any non-essential travel.

"Unfortunately, the number of cases are going to keep going up for a while," Kaiser said. "But we're taking steps to keep us ahead of the curve and getting people taken care of as quickly as we can. If everyone does their part we'll get through this together."

Residents are urged to visit for updated information.

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