Riverside County health officials Thursday reported another 173 confirmed coronavirus cases and seven additional deaths, but the number of known active cases continues to fall.
The aggregate number of COVID-19 infections recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March is 56,374, compared to 56,201 on Wednesday, according to the Riverside University Health System.
Officials said the total number of deaths tied to COVID-19 stands at 1,143.
The number of known active cases countywide is 3,580, a decline of 113 since Wednesday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 56,374 — according to the county Executive Office. The number of verified patient recoveries is 51,651.
Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the recovery rate is now 90% of the total number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed over the last six months.
Saruwatari’s report was followed by confirmation from Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton that the county’s virus-related hospitalizations are trending “in a positive direction,” with the number of patients receiving treatment in the county’s 17 acute care facilities back down to levels recorded in April.
The number of patients hospitalized countywide for treatment of the virus is 158, up three from a day ago. That figure includes 48 people in intensive care units — one more than Wednesday, according to RUHS.
The California Department of Public Health updated the county’s current tier standing on Tuesday, and though the county remains in the most restrictive purple tier under the governor’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” guidelines, it will qualify for the red tier if case rates hold at or below current thresholds. That would mean a reduction in public health regulations keeping many businesses closed and penalizing those that open without authorization.
According to the latest data, the county has averaged 5.8 cases a day per 100,000 population in the last week, but because COVID-19 testing volumes are below the state median required for a large county, Riverside County has been given an “adjusted rate” of 6.7. That still puts the county below the 7- per-100,000 level needed for tier re-assignment. What’s more, the testing positivity rate is now 6.4%, below the 8% threshold for re-assignment.
“We must meet the metrics for the red tier for two weeks before the state will move us into the red tier,” Executive Office spokeswoman Brooke Federico told City News Service on Tuesday.
Additional information about the formula can be found at www.covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.