RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) -- Western Riverside County has its first two cases of coronavirus, Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said Tuesday.
Kaiser also confirmed Riverside County's third death connected to COVID-19. The individual was from the Coachella Valley, where nearly all of the county's cases were concentrated before Tuesday's announcement.
The new cases in western Riverside bring the county's total cases of COVID-19 to 16.
"We knew getting west county cases was an inevitability," Kaiser said in a statement.
On Wednesday, public health officials said they had administered 800 tests for COVID-19 and expected that number to double by the end of the week and triple by next week.
Riverside County also said it had set up a drive-thru testing site, though it was by appointment only.
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.
"The disease curve must be flattened, and that's why we're already intervening as early as possible so that our vulnerable residents are protected," Kaiser said.
As testing for COVID-19 increases, Kaiser said to expect the number of confirmed cases to continue to jump.
"We need to have a greater idea of the extent of the spread of COVID-19," Kaiser said. "The more testing that is completed, the better the picture we have of what we are facing and what steps need to be taken to better protect the community."
Kaiser also ordered the closure of all Riverside County schools from elementary to college until April 30. He also has recommended that senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions in the Coachella Valley avoid any non-essential travel. The orders have impacted religious services, weddings, sporting events and classrooms countywide.
Residents are urged to visit rivcoph.org. for updated information.
for more features.