Confirmed coronavirus cases in Riverside County crossed the 9,000 mark Monday, as health officials reported 429 new cases and one additional death confirmed since Friday.
Infections countywide now stand at 9,206, with the death toll up to 356, according to the Riverside University Health System.
The number of hospitalized patients stood at 217, which includes 63 being treated in intensive care units. The number includes residents from neighboring counties being treated in Riverside County.
Upwards of 100 patients from Imperial County were admitted to Riverside County hospitals beginning in the last two weeks of May, but RUHS spokesman Jose Arballo said it was unclear how many were still being treated.
Riverside County — which has the second-highest number of cases statewide — is preparing to move forward in reopening additional economic sectors, officials said Friday after the release of Stage 3 criteria of the governor’s four-stage reopening framework.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to address the matter further during its meeting on Tuesday.
Currently, Riverside County, like most of the rest of the state, is in the “advanced” Stage 2 point of the de-regulation framework that was put in place by the three-dozen or so public health executive orders signed by the governor since mid-March.
Retail outlets, hair salons, dine-in restaurants and gaming facilities were among the businesses permitted to reopen two weeks ago in Stage 2.
One of the state’s thresholds for progressing along the de-regulation path is for the number of residents screened for COVID-19 to increase. Currently, close to 5% of the county’s aggregate population has been tested, according to county health officials, who said Monday that 138,613 tests have been administered.
County Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari said on Friday that one criterion for a jurisdiction to continue toward full reopening is for the positivity rate in tests to remain below 8%. The county topped out at 8% on June 3 but was consistently below that figure prior to that time.
The California Department of Public Health and the governor’s office established an action list for bars, day camps, gyms and schools to return to business, as well as paving the way for professional sports venues to restart operations.
“It is up to the local jurisdiction to make decisions regarding reopening specific sectors based upon the epidemiology and readiness of the county,” according to a CDPH statement.
Meanwhile, Department of Veterans Affairs officials said funeral services, which had been on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume this week at most national cemeteries, including the one in Riverside. Services had been reduced to burials and limited visitations since March 23, while larger services and military honors were suspended.
On Tuesday, the department plans to start contacting families who had to delay or limit services for loved ones and let them know the cemeteries are now fully open again.
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