Riverside, CA – Over the weekend Riverside County health officials declared a health emergency after a patient presented at Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage with the county’s first known locally acquired case of the coronavirus—a case not tied to the patient’s travel abroad or contact with someone who has travelled abroad.
Another known case related to the county involved a county resident who was a passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship who is recovering in Northern California.
On Friday March 6, 2020 the Murrieta Unified School District announced Murrieta Valley High School will be closed “out of an abundance of caution,” after an employee—who had recently travelled to a country impacted by a coronavirus outbreak—underwent testing for the coronavirus. In the meantime, at least 71 students are under self-quarantine. And on Monday, Riverside County health officials announced three new cases in the Coachella Valley.
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency as the coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to spread across the state impacting more than 12 counties in the state and sickening more than 50 people.
On Thursday the Governor directed all commercial and Medi-Cal health plans regulated by the Department of Managed Health Care to reduce the cost-sharing to zero for all medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19 immediately. This includes waiving the costs for emergency room, urgent care or office visits when the visit is related to the coronavirus.
Also, on Thursday, Congress passed a bill to combat the illness by authorizing the direction of $8.3 billion to national efforts. Although the administration is pressing forward in tandem with the public sector with the development of a vaccine for the illness, Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar—in testimony before congress last week—said he could not guarantee it will be affordable for all, even though tax payers are subsidizing its development.