Hospitalization numbers continue to fall countywide

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Health care workers conduct coronavirus testing at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore managed and operated by Riverside University Health System Public Health Department. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

While hospitalizations and known active cases continue to fall countywide, Riverside County Public Health officials Friday, Sept. 18, reported 307 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths since Thursday, bringing the total number of cases within the county to 56,681 since the county began recording data.

The total number of people who have died from the virus since the county began now sits at 1,153.

There were 143 residents in hospitals in the county and 44 of those were in intensive care units.

The number of known active cases countywide was 3,540 Friday or 40 fewer than the day before. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total – 56,681 – according to the county Executive Office.

The number of verified patient recoveries is now up to 51,988.

Kim Saruwatari, Riverside County Department of Public Health director, told the board of supervisors Tuesday, Sept. 15, that the recovery rate is now 90% of the total number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed over the past six months.

Saruwatari’s report was followed by confirmation from Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton that the county’s virus-related hospitalizations are trending “in a positive direction,” with the number of patients receiving treatment in the county’s 17 acute care facilities back down to levels recorded in April.

The California Department of Public Health updated the county’s current tier standing Tuesday, and though the county remains in the most restrictive – purple – tier under the governor’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” guidelines, it will qualify for the red tier if case rates hold at or below current thresholds. That would mean additional businesses would be permitted to reopen.

According to the latest data, the county has averaged 5.8 cases a day per 100,000 population in the past week, 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. That still puts the county below the seven per 100,000 level needed for tier reassignment.

The testing positivity rate is now 6.4%, below the 8% threshold for reassignment.

“We must meet the metrics for the red tier for two weeks before the state will move us into the red tier,” Brooke Federico, representative of the county Executive Office told City News Service, Sept. 15.

Officials have urged those with and without symptoms to get tested, as well as younger people who traditionally have not gotten screened at the same rate as other groups.

There are 13 screening sites countywide and they can be found at http://gettested.ruhealth.org.

The current number of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries by city and community:

Temecula

Confirmed Cases: 1,034

Deaths: 12

Recovered: 955

Murrieta

Confirmed Cases: 1,191

Deaths: 21

Recovered: 1,064

Wildomar

Confirmed Cases: 549

Deaths: 14

Recovered: 495

Lake Elsinore

Confirmed Cases: 1,200

Deaths: 22

Recovered: 1,134

Canyon Lake

Confirmed Cases: 102

Deaths: 2

Recovered: 90

Menifee

Confirmed Cases: 1,453

Deaths: 29

Recovered: 1,266

Hemet

Confirmed Cases: 1,643

Deaths: 61

Recovered: 1,489

San Jacinto

Confirmed Cases: 1,101

Deaths: 23

Recovered: 1,020

Anza

Confirmed Cases: 13

Deaths: 0

Recovered: 13

East Hemet

Confirmed Cases: 337

Deaths: 6

Recovered: 302

French Valley

Confirmed Cases: 318

Deaths: 1

Recovered: 295

Lakeland Village

Confirmed Cases: 210

Deaths: 2

Recovered: 197

Valle Vista

Confirmed Cases: 228

Deaths: 5

Recovered: 208

Winchester

Confirmed Cases: 20

Deaths: 0

Recovered: 18

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 jpack@reedermedia.com.