Riverside County’s coronavirus hospitalization rates have gone flat, but infections continue, with 129 additional cases and six more deaths attributed to complications stemming from the virus reported Tuesday.
“We have stabled off in hospitalizations,” Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton told the Board of Supervisors. “Our ICU (bed usage rate) has flattened.”
Barton said 142 people are hospitalized countywide with virus symptoms, nine more than Monday, and that includes 42 intensive care unit patients, two more than Monday.
Barton said the range has been roughly the same for the past few weeks. All COVID-19 hospitalization figures are at or below levels reported in April.
The total number of COVID-19 infections recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March is 60,867, according to the Riverside University Health System.
The agency said the number of deaths believed to be tied to COVID-19 is 1,244.
The number of known active cases countywide is 4,226, down 62 since Monday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 60,867 — according to the county Executive Office. The number of verified patient recoveries is 55,397.
Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the board the county’s testing positivity rate is 5%, down a full percentage point compared to three weeks ago.
However, the county is averaging 6.8 positive cases a day per 100,000 population, with an adjusted rate of 7.6 per 100,000 because testing volumes are below the state median for large counties, according to the California Department of Public Health.
The current numbers, and the new “equity” component factored into the CDPH’s metrics, would make tier reassignment — from red to orange — under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy out of reach for the county, which now appears to be a moot issue.
The board voted Tuesday to take a self-administered approach to reopening economic sectors, adhering to California Department of Public Health guidelines, but no longer heeding the state’s directives on the timing for relaxing public health regulations.
The county Executive Office said the state could withhold $114 million in grants and other allocations because of the county’s newly adopted independent initiative. But the board did not feel the state would take a hard line as long as the county proceeds cautiously.
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