Nearly a dozen more coronavirus deaths were reported Tuesday in Riverside County, although health officials said some of the deaths date back nearly two weeks.
The 11 deaths reported Tuesday bring the county’s death toll to 303, according to the Riverside University Health System.
Jose Arballo, an RUHS spokesman, said Tuesday’s figures include deaths that occurred on May 12, 14, 19 and 22.
Health officials also confirmed 135 additional COVID-19 infections, bringing the case total to 7,139.
The update came as state officials continue easing restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus in an effort to restart California’s economy.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday cleared the way for barbershops and hair salons to open in counties that have been cleared to move deeper into California’s reopening roadmap, including Riverside County.
Riverside is one of 47 counties in the state that have been granted “regional variances” needed to open more types of businesses. Restrictions on in-person dining and shopping were previously lifted in time for the Memorial Day weekend.
The Gardens on El Paseo, an outdoor shopping center in Palm Desert, reopened on Tuesday, although only a handful of shops were operational. The Westfield Mall, also in Palm Desert, is set to reopen on Friday.
Officials at both shopping centers readying to welcome customers said they will have limited hours and will implement robust cleaning protocols, with a focus on high-touch areas.
Mall giant Simon Properties on Tuesday reopened nine of its Southern California retail centers, including Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon, which had been shuttered since March due to COVID-19.
According to Riverside University Health System researcher Dr. Geoffrey Leung, the countywide hospitalization rate for COVID-19 cases has been flat for the past few weeks, remaining below 200, while the “positivity rate” from coronavirus screenings generally has been 2% to 4%, figures that did not raise red flags.
According to RUHS figures, the number of documented recoveries stands at 4,285.
Of the 193 county residents hospitalized with COVID-19, 63 are being treated in intensive care units.
More than 106,000 Riverside County residents have been tested for the coronavirus, which accounts for more than 4% of the county’s population of nearly 2.5 million.
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