Riverside County health officials Friday reported 284 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and 14 additional deaths, while the number of hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 continued to trend downward.
The cumulative number of coronavirus infections recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March now stands at 53,987, and the death toll at 1,067, according to the Riverside University Health System.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 countywide totaled 185 as of Friday, which is four fewer than Thursday and down 239 from a month ago. Of that number, 63 people were being treated in intensive care units, three more than the previous day.
Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton told the Board of Supervisors this week 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 6,930, a decline of 407 since Thursday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 53,987 — according to the county Executive Office.
The number of verified patient recoveries — defined as someone who has not manifested symptoms for 14 days — is up to 45,990.
Four drive-up coronavirus testing sites — located in Indio, Perris, Riverside and Lake Elsinore — will close over Labor Day weekend due to extreme heat expected countywide. County officials said the move was aimed at protecting staff.
Last Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a four-tier color-coded system used daily to guide counties’ in loosening public health regulations.
Riverside County remains in the purple or “widespread” tier of the state’s new reopening framework, requiring many indoor businesses to remain closed, substantially limit capacity or shift operations outside.
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. Additional information about the formula can be found at www.covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.
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, according to Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari.
The doubling time — or the number of days in which documented virus cases increase 100% — is 50 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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