Riverside County Monday reported 104 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, three additional virus-related deaths and a drop in hospitalizations over the weekend.
The aggregate number of COVID-19 cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in March 2020 is 297,319, according to the Riverside University Health System, while the number of COVID-related fatalities increased to 4,528.
The agency, which does not provide updated COVID-19 statistics on weekends, reported that 85 coronavirus patients were being treated in hospitals countywide as of Monday, five fewer than Friday. That figure includes 15 intensive care unit patients, six fewer than Friday.
The number of known active virus cases countywide was 1,810, down 350 from Friday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 297,319 — according to the county Executive Office.
Nearly 1.4 million vaccine doses have been administered countywide since December. As of last week, roughly 70% of residents 65 years and older — who are at the highest risk for hospitalization or death from COVID-19 — had been immunized, Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the Board of Supervisors last Tuesday.
The county’s coronavirus positivity rate is at 2%, the same as two weeks ago, and the state-adjusted case rate is 3.6 per 100,000 people, which reflects a rolling seven-day average. Two weeks ago, it was 3.5 per 100,000.
Riverside County has been in the orange tier of the state’s public health regulatory system since April 7, which has allowed for more county businesses to reopen. Prior to that, the county had been in the red tier of the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” framework since March 16, after five months in the most restrictive purple tier.
According to the California Department of Public Health, orange criteria permit retail businesses to fully open, while 50% attendance caps are supposed to be observed in restaurants, museums, movie theaters and zoos. The guidelines call for gyms, wineries and bars to maintain 25% caps. Receptions and conferences attended by up to 150 people were allowed to resume last week, on the condition that attendees, at minimum, be tested for coronavirus.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has set June 15 as the target date for an end to all restrictions on businesses, gatherings and recreation throughout the state — provided there are no signs of a backward slide.
The county’s metrics are squarely in the orange qualifier, but still just outside the parameters for yellow tier status, which represents “minimal” presence of the virus.
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which require two doses several weeks apart, are currently available countywide. Use of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused last week while federal health officials investigate reports of six women across the country developing potentially dangerous blood clots within two weeks of being vaccinated. One of the women died. Nearly 7 million people nationwide have received the J&J vaccine.
County officials are awaiting further federal guidance before deciding whether to lift the suspension locally.
The portal to make an appointment for vaccinations at county-run and other sites can be accessed via www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine. Anyone who needs assistance may also call the county’s 211 help line.
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