Riverside County health officials have reported five more deaths tied to the coronavirus, bringing the number of fatalities to 1,231 since the start of the pandemic.
The aggregate number of COVID-19 infections recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March reached 59,934 on Friday, compared to 59,488 the day before, according to the Riverside University Health System.
According to the Emergency Management Department, 130 people are hospitalized countywide with virus symptoms, an increase of 11 since Thursday, and that figure includes 39 intensive care unit patients, one fewer than a day ago. All COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are now at or below levels reported in April.
The number of known active cases countywide is 3,967, up 109 since Thursday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 59,934 — according to the county Executive Office. The number of verified patient recoveries is now 54,736.
Officials have previously acknowledged a lag time of several days or more for lab test results to be returned, and because of complications with contract tracing, recoveries can sometimes go under-reported for extended periods.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last month the county’s shift to the “red tier” from the most restrictive “purple tier.” The county qualified for the move under testing and positivity thresholds established by the California Department of Public Health.
The red tier permits shopping malls, swap meets, barbershops, hair salons, fitness centers and restaurants to operate — with limitations on indoor capacities and enforcement of social distancing.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will reconsider a proposal to replace the state’s tiered system with a county-designed accelerated reopening plan that would possibly wrap up by the end of this month, permitting all businesses, houses of worship, offices, wineries, bars and other entities to open with health safeguards in place.
The county Executive Office has said the state could withhold $114 million in grants and other allocations if the county takes an independent path. The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment on what may happen if the board approves the self-directed reopening plan.
According to the CDPH, the county has averaged six cases a day per 100,000 population over the last two weeks, 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. At the current level, the county would not be eligible for reassignment to the even less restrictive “orange tier.”
Additional information about the formula can be found at www.covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.
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