Riverside County health officials Wednesday reported an additional 153 confirmed coronavirus infections and seven more deaths, but hospitalizations and known active virus case numbers fell further.
The aggregate number of COVID-19 infections recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March is 53,306, compared to 53,153 on Tuesday, and the total number of coronavirus deaths now stands at 1,033, according to the Riverside University Health System.
The number of patients hospitalized countywide for treatment of the virus is 207, down nine from Tuesday. That figure includes 69 people in intensive care units.
Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that there has been “an ongoing significant decrease” from the peak of hospitalizations in mid-July, when 550 people were in the county’s 17 acute care medical facilities with virus symptoms.
The number of known active cases countywide is 7,518, a decline of 585 since Tuesday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 53,306 — according to the county Executive Office.
The number of verified patient recoveries is 44,755. A recovery is defined as someone who has not manifested symptoms for 14 days.
On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a four-tier, color-coded system used daily to guide counties’ in loosening public health regulations.
Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the board that the county remains in the “purple, most restrictive” tier, requiring many indoor businesses to remain closed or substantially limit capacity.
“Our positivity and case rates are coming down,” Saruwatari said. “We have to make sure we’re not fluctuating up and down between tiers.”
In order for the county to move to the next level, the red tier, it has to document less than seven new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population on a rolling seven-day average, and the positivity testing rate must be less than 8% in the same period.
Protesters who gathered outside the County Administrative Center on Tuesday denounced the governor’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” formula as arbitrary and detrimental to businesses struggling to survive. Additional information about the formula can be found at www.covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.
According to Saruwatari, nearly two-thirds of all deaths coded as COVID-19 have been correlated to underlying conditions, principally chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease.
The doubling time — or the number of days in which documented virus cases increase 100% — is 46 days. A doubling rate of seven days is reason for alarm, while expanding doubling times point to moderation, or gradual success in virus containment, according to health officials.
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