The city of Perris has one of the highest COVID-19 transmission rates in Riverside County, despite having a mask ordinance.

Health officials say that doesn’t mean face coverings aren’t working.

People are lining up for the Census in Perris and translator Adriana Delgadillo is making sure that she follows the COVID-19 safety protocols.

“I try to keep my distance and wash my hands,” she said.

Delgadillo lives in Perris and she is especially concerned about COVID-19 because the virus nearly took her father’s life.

“It was sad because we didn’t think he was going to make it. He was sick for two months and he made it.”

According to the Riverside County Public Health Department, the city of Perris has a COVID-19 infection rate 10 to 20% higher per capita than the county average.

It’s one of the highest rates in Riverside County, despite having an ordinance requiring people to wear face coverings in public.

“We know we have more young adults who are probably working in essential jobs, which means they are more likely coming in contact with other individuals,” said Dr. Geoff Leung.

Dr. Leung says Perris residents shouldn’t be alarmed because the transmission rate is usually higher in communities with larger minority populations.

“We tend to see more of our underrepresented minorities including African-Americans or Latino or Hispanic individuals.”

Dr. Leung says considering Perris’ high risk demographics, the city is actually doing a good job of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“I always say it takes a village and every individual must do their part.”

That’s why Mayor Michael Vargas says residents must avoid large gatherings with friends or family.

“And now you’re going to throw a birthday party for somebody, you’re bringing other family members who don’t live in your same household — that’s a lot of exposure there. That’s why we stay in our same household.”


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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