Riverside County health officials have reported 738 confirmed coronavirus cases and nine additional deaths since Friday, while the number of hospitalizations continued to fall.

The aggregate number of COVID-19 infections recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March is 57,419, compared to 56,681 at the end of last week, according to the Riverside University Health System.

Officials said the number of deaths tied to COVID-19 increased to 1,162, compared to 1,153 last week.

The number of known active cases countywide stands at 3,788, or 248 more than Friday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 57,419 — according to the county Executive Office. The number of verified patient recoveries is now up to 52,469.

As of Monday, 131 patients were hospitalized countywide for treatment of the virus, 12 fewer than Friday. That figure includes 47 people in intensive care units — three more than Friday, according to RUHS.

Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton told the Board of Supervisors last week 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 California Department of Public Health updated the county’s current tier standing last 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 additional businesses would be permitted to reopen.

The county averaged 5.8 cases a day per 100,000 population 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 reassignment. 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 said.

Additional information about the formula can be found at www.covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.

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