Riverside University Health System reported only 244 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, Sept. 1, and seven new deaths throughout the county. In all, 53,153 have tested positive for the virus and 1,026 people have died since the county began recording data back in early March.
The county reported there were six more people hospitalized overnight — a total of 216. There are currently 68 people being treated in ICUs for the virus, five fewer than the day before.
The county reported that 44,024 people have recovered from the virus, but that number is 637 more than what was reported Monday.
The county reported that there were 386 confirmed cases in county jails and another 1,719 cases recorded in state prisons within the county. Prisons have seen a spike in recent days in new positive cases.
The county reported that 525,905 have been tested so far, 3,197 more than the day before.
“We continue to see good news on hospitalizations,” Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton said to Riverside County Supervisors on Tuesday. “There has been an ongoing significant decrease from the peak.”
“At our peak (in July), we were at 550 hospitalizations with 170 in the ICU. We’re down significantly.”
He did not anticipate a change in the trend anytime soon but acknowledged that the county’s 17 acute care medical facilities are preparing for a possible second wave surge of COVID-19 cases in the fall — in addition to a possible common flu outbreak similar to what occurred in 2018.
“We are working with the hospitals, but from our perspective, the flu mainly attacks the emergency room,” Barton said. “It will not overwhelm hospital capacity.”
The number of known active cases countywide is 8,103, a decline of 400 since Monday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 53,153 — according to the County Executive Office.
Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the board that the county remains in the “purple, most restrictive” tier, requiring many indoor businesses to remain closed or substantially limit capacity.
“Our positivity and case rates are coming down,” Saruwatari said. “We have to make sure we’re not fluctuating up and down between tiers.”
In order for the county to move to the next level, the red tier, it has to document less than 7 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population on a rolling seven-day average, and the positivity testing rate must be less than 8% in the same period.
During a protest outside the shuttered County Administrative Center Tuesday, about a dozen demonstrators called into the board meeting, all venting frustration with the governor’s and California Department of Public Health’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” formula, denouncing it as arbitrary, as well as threatening the survival of businesses.
Additional information about the formula can be found at www.covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.
Riverside County began including a count of the recoveries in each city and community and Valley News has reformatted the report to make the numbers easier to read and interpret.
Only Menifee saw a double-digit spike in new cases since Monday, and both Menifee and Hemet suffered one new death overnight.
The current number of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries by city and community:
Confirmed Cases: 949
Confirmed Cases: 1,066
Confirmed Cases: 514
Confirmed Cases: 1,118
Confirmed Cases: 86
Confirmed Cases: 1,284
Confirmed Cases: 1,565
Confirmed Cases: 1,036
Confirmed Cases: 14
Confirmed Cases: 302
Confirmed Cases: 291
Confirmed Cases: 202
Confirmed Cases: 212
Confirmed Cases: 19
Daily updates and more information on coronavirus in Riverside County can be found on the county’s website, https://www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.