RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County health officials Thursday, Oct. 1 reported 83 additional confirmed coronavirus cases, but no new deaths, as the number of virus-linked hospitalizations fell.
The two previous days saw the county report more than 200 new cases per day and 10 deaths each day.
The aggregate number of COVID-19 infections recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March is 59,488, compared to 59,405 on Wednesday, according to the Riverside University Health System.
The death toll tied to COVID-19 remains at 1,226.
There are now 119 patients hospitalized with the virus in Riverside County, which is down 11 from Wednesday’s numbers. The hospitalization figure includes 40 intensive care unit patients — four more than the day before.
All COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are now at or below levels reported in April.
The number of known active cases countywide is now 3,858, up three from Wednesday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total of 59,488, according to the County Executive Office. The number of verified patient recoveries is now up to 54,404.
County Supervisor Karen Spiegel questioned Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting about the anticipated jump in coronavirus infections that RUHS representatives had suggested might follow Labor Day holiday weekend gatherings.
“We have not seen a significant increase,” Saruwatari told the board.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week the county’s shift to the “red tier” from the most restrictive “purple tier” as part of his Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The county qualified for the move under testing and positivity thresholds established by the California Department of Public Health.
The red tier permits shopping malls, swap meets, barbershops, hair salons, fitness centers and restaurants to operate with limitations on indoor capacities and enforcement of social distancing.
The board last week debated replacing the state’s tiered system with a county-designed accelerated reopening plan that would wrap up by Nov. 3, permitting all businesses, houses of worship, offices, wineries and other entities to fully open with health safeguards in place.
Spiegel and Supervisor Kevin Jeffries were supportive of the concept, introduced by Supervisor Jeff Hewitt, but voiced concerns about the need to verify how much money the state might withhold if the county takes an autonomous path. The matter will be debated again Tuesday.
According to the CDPH, the county has averaged six cases a day per 100,000 population over the last two weeks, but because COVID-19 testing volumes are below the state median required for a large county, Riverside County has been given an “adjusted rate” of 6.7. At the current level, the county would not be eligible for reassignment to the even-less restrictive “orange tier.”
Additional information about the formula can be found at www.covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.