Coronavirus hospitalizations in Riverside County dropped 15% over the weekend, though an additional 25 virus-related deaths were also reported, according to figures released Monday.
The aggregate number of COVID-19 cases recorded since the public health documentation period began last March is 289,773, up 323 from Friday, according to the Riverside University Health System.
Riverside County health officials do not provide updated coronavirus statistics on weekends.
Officials said there have been a total of 3,792 deaths from virus-related complications over the past year. The fatalities are trailing indicators because of delays processing death certificates and cover three- to four-week cycles.
COVID-positive hospitalizations countywide totaled 307 on Monday, down 54 from Friday. That figure includes 83 patients in intensive care units, or 13 fewer than Friday.
ICU bed availability countywide is 12%, still below the 15% threshold that prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Dec. 6 regional stay-at-home order, which was canceled last month amid changing trends. Most ICU patients in the county are not infected with COVID, according to RUHS.
The number of known active virus cases countywide is 11,025, down 3,965 from Friday.
The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 289,773 — according to the county Executive Office. Verified patient recoveries countywide are now at 274,956.
Meanwhile, county health officials are expected to provide updates to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday regarding the local roll out of the state’s new system of tracking and scheduling vaccines.
RUHS officials have expressed hope that a state contract with Blue Shield, announced last month, for management of supplies will improve the distribution process.
The system is slated to begin first in Riverside and nine other counties, although limited details have been made public.
Officials on Monday announced three new county-organized vaccination locations operated by OptumServe will open countywide on Wednesday.
The new locations are:
— Norco, 1377 Hamner Ave.;
— Temecula, 39716 Winchester Road; and
— Desert Hot Springs, 11711 West Drive.
The vaccination site at Corona High School is also set to close on Friday. Officials said residents who received their first shots at Corona High School will be contacted by RUHS personnel with information about where to receive their second shots.
Vaccination of senior citizens is a priority, but others who qualify under the CDPH Phase 1 guidelines include hospital workers, first responders, teachers and some agricultural workers.
The portal to make an appointment for vaccination can be accessed via www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine. Anyone needing assistance may also call the county’s 211 help line.
Also this week, additional outdoor sports were expected to receive the greenlight to resume in Riverside County. The county is fast approaching the state-imposed benchmark for the resumption of moderate- and high-contact sports, including soccer, football and baseball. This include both youth and adult sports.
Counties in the purple or red tier that report case rates at or below 14 cases per 100,000 residents can allow these activities to resume amid coronavirus protocols.
Riverside County was at 16.6 infections per 100,000 residents as of last Tuesday. That statistic gets updated every Tuesday, meaning, given current trends, the statistic was expected to drop below the state-mandated threshold.
The county is still in the most restrictive purple tier of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework, impacting 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.