Riverside County health officials Monday reported 804 newly confirmed coronavirus infections and seven additional virus-related deaths since Friday, as the number of active cases and hospitalizations edged up slightly.
The aggregate number of COVID-19 infections recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March now stands at 60,738, with 1,238 fatalities, according to the Riverside University Health System.
The seven deaths reported Monday occurred as far back as Aug. 10, according to RUHS spokesman Jose Arballo.
Riverside County coronavirus statistics are not released on weekends.
According to the Emergency Management Department, 133 people are hospitalized countywide with virus symptoms, an increase of three since Friday. That figure includes 40 intensive care unit patients, one more than Friday.
Despite the slight uptick, the county’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers remain at or below levels reported in April.
The number of known active cases countywide is 4,288, up 321 from Friday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 60,738 — according to the county Executive Office. The number of verified patient recoveries is now 55,212.
Officials had 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.
According to the CDPH, the county has averaged six cases a day per 100,000 population over the past 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.”