The death of a 25-year-old pharmacy technician this week from the coronavirus has prompted Riverside County officials to remind residents that the elderly are not the only ones as risk.
The deceased man was discovered Wednesday in a La Quinta hotel residence in the Coachella Valley, said Brooke Federico, the county’s public information officer. The identity of the San Diego resident has not been disclosed.
“This is a deeply saddening reminder that COVID-19 kills the young and healthy too,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer, said. “Stay safe. Keep travel and errands to essentials, and observe social distance no matter how young or well you are. Our condolences and thoughts are with everyone this pandemic has touched.”
Health officials said that the technician was exposed to the COVID-19 virus outside Riverside County and was in self-quarantine in La Quinta. The individual did not have any underlying health issues, according to county officials.
His death will be added to San Diego’s number of coronavirus-related fatalities, which as of Friday afternoon stood at three. But Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County’s public health officer, said that data would be updated to include three more deaths, with the 25-year-old technician among them.
Wooten said the other two deaths included a male in his mid-50s and another male in his early 80s.
In Riverside County, there have been eight fatalities of individuals 70 or older, with most having had underlying health problems, county records show. As of Friday afternoon, there were 151 positive cases in the county.
A New Order in Riverside County
In response to the technician’s death, Kaiser ordered that all short-term lodging, including short-term home rentals, hotels and motels limit their businesses to COVID-19 response only.
Limited activities that are allowed under that order include providing housing for the homeless population and essential workers, county officials said. Other scenarios acceptable under the order involve people who leave home to safely isolate themselves from family members — or people who become displaced because family members are self-isolating at home.
Under this order, owners, tenants or marketing agents are not permitted to rent or lease any short-term rental, vacation rental or timeshare lodging, county officials said.
The order applies to all cities and unincorporated areas of Riverside County.
Kaiser also instructed that all Riverside County schools, colleges and universities will remain closed until April 30. These orders are in conjunction with the governor’s order to stay at home.
“Now isn’t the time to visit Riverside County,” Kaiser said. “Slowing the spread of COVID-19 means folks need to stay put in their own neighborhoods. Unless you’ve got nowhere else safe to be, please visit later.”