The number of COVID-positive patients hospitalized in Riverside County has dropped slightly, and one additional virus-related death was reported.

According to the Riverside University Health System, 31 people countywide were hospitalized with coronavirus as of Friday, one less than Thursday, and that includes six intensive care unit patients, unchanged from a day earlier.

The aggregate number of COVID cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in March 2020 is 301,312, up 28 from Thursday, according to RUHS.

A total 4,618 deaths from virus-related complications have been recorded in the past 14 months.

The number of known active virus cases countywide was 774 on Friday, down two from a day earlier. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 301,312 — according to the county Executive Office. Verified patient recoveries countywide are 295,920.

According to RUHS, the county’s COVID positivity rate was 1.2%, compared to 1.3% the previous week, and the state-adjusted case rate is 1.6 per 100,000 residents, based on a rolling seven-day average, compared to 2 per 100,000 the previous week.

RUHS does not release updated COVID-19 statistics on weekends.

The California Department of Public Health has drafted new guidelines that take effect Tuesday, when the governor’s statewide tier assignment system under the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” framework is slated to end.

The county entered the orange tier eight weeks ago, removing some operational barriers for private and public entities. The county had been in the red tier since March 16, after five months in the most restrictive purple tier.

Most distancing and capacity limitations will be rescinded this week, with a few restrictions continuing for “mega events,” defined as indoor concerts with 5,000 or more people, and outdoor gatherings with 10,000 or more attendees, officials said.

More than 2 million SARS-Cov-2 vaccinations have been administered countywide since December.

Homebound people with infirmities can make an appointment for vaccination via the web portal myturn.ca.gov/, or by calling 833-422-4255. Residents who are not homebound must continue to use the county website to make an appointment: www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine. Or they may call the county’s 211 help line.

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