The number of coronavirus hospitalizations in Riverside County is unchanged Friday at Wednesday’s level of 149 while the overall case count has increased by 225, and five additional deaths were attributed to complications stemming from the virus.
The aggregate number of COVID-19 infections recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March is 63,125, compared to 62,900 on Wednesday, according to the Riverside University Health System.
The agency said the number of deaths tied to COVID-19 stands at 1,269.
RUHS figures show 149 people are hospitalized for virus-related treatment — unchanged from Wednesday. That number includes 42 intensive care unit patients, three less than a day ago.
All COVID-19 hospitalization counts are currently at or below levels reported in April.
The number of known active cases countywide is 4,683, down 40 since Wednesday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 63,125 — according to the county Executive Office. The number of verified patient recoveries is 57,173.
Officials announced Tuesday that Riverside County is at risk of being moved back into the purple tier, the most restrictive classification, under the state’s public health regulation framework, because testing levels are below the threshold established for large counties and case rates are higher. But at the county’s request, the California Department of Public Health decided to leave the county as-is until a one-week review of data can be completed.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s color-coded tier system relies on testing thresholds, case positivity rates and so-called “equity” metrics to determine how a county should be classified. Riverside County moved out of the purple tier and into the less restrictive red tier last month.
Last week, the Board of Supervisors voted for a self-directed plan to deregulate the local economy, but it largely follows state guidelines.
The red tier allows for some indoor businesses to resume operations with limited capacities. More information is available at covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.
According to the CDPH, the county now has a COVID-19 per-day case count of 8.1 per 100,000 people, but that has been adjusted to 9.2 per 100,000 because testing thresholds are below what the state prefers. Generally, a jurisdiction must fall below a daily count of 7 per 100,000 to qualify for the red tier. On the other hand, the county’s testing positivity rate is 5.9%, which is well within red tier criteria.
The board’s vote last week on a self-directed plan sought a modified approach to reopening economic sectors, adhering to CDPH health safety guidelines, but giving county CEO George Johnson authority to relax public health regulations impacting businesses and other entities on a schedule that falls outside the state’s mandates, if he chooses.
Johnson expressed a desire to follow state directives because the county stands to lose more than $100 million in relief grants otherwise.