The number of patients diagnosed with coronavirus being treated in hospitals throughout Riverside County continued to fall Friday, though an additional 11 virus-related deaths were reported.
The Riverside University Health System said that COVID-positive hospitalizations were at 847, down 17 from Thursday. That includes 220 patients in intensive care units, a one-day drop of 23.
Virus-related hospitalizations peaked near 1,700 in the second week of January, officials said.
The aggregate number of coronavirus cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March is 280,170, up 981 from Thursday, according to RUHS.
The agency said a total 3,320 deaths stemming from virus-related complications have been recorded, compared to 3,309 reported Thursday. The fatalities are trailing indicators because of delays processing death certificates, and cover three- to four-week periods.
The number of known active virus cases countywide is 48,264, down 2,847 from Thursday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 280,170– according to the county Executive Office. Verified patient recoveries countywide are at 228,586.
Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that the county’s ICU space remains at 0% capacity, along with the 11-county Southern California region.
According to RUHS, the county has received 241,750 Pfizer and Moderna SARS-Cov-2 vaccine doses, and roughly 91% of that stock has already been administered.
RUHS Dr. Geoffrey Leung told the board there are ongoing supply challenges, but the county is focused on offering immunizations “to the most vulnerable,” by which he meant seniors, mainly those over 85 years old.
“We know call center wait times have been long,” Leung said. “We’re increasing staff and improving our technology platform to make scheduling easier.”
The reservation portal to make an appointment for vaccination can be accessed via www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine. Those who need assistance may also call the county’s 211 help line.
Although the county is making vaccination of seniors a priority, others who qualify under the California Department of Public Health’s Phase 1 guidelines include hospital workers, first responders, teachers and anyone over 65.
The county is still in the most restrictive “purple” tier of the governor’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework.
The overall countywide COVID-19 testing positivity rate is 16.6%, down from 20% last week, based on state-adjusted figures.
The purple tier impacts bars, theaters, museums, indoor recreational facilities and wineries — all of which are supposed to remain closed. However wineries, like restaurants, can provide outdoor dining, takeout and delivery.
Most retail outlets are limited to 25% capacity, while hair salons, nail salons and barbershops can operate with safeguards in place.
Additional information is available at covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.