RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The number of COVID-19 cases in Riverside County stands today at 4,180, with 161 deaths, after county health officials reported an additional 16 infections.
Sunday marked the first day since Tuesday that no new deaths were reported, keeping the countywide death toll at 161.
Of the 211 county residents who are hospitalized with COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus — 78 are being treated in intensive care units, five fewer than Saturday.
Officials with the Riverside University Health System said the number of documented recoveries totals 1,971, up by 26.
Riverside County has the second-highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in the state, behind only Los Angeles County.
On Wednesday, the Public Health Officer, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, extended the county’s emergency health order mandating social-distancing practices and requiring face coverings for residents when outside their homes, saying, “for the immediate future, this is the new normal in Riverside County.”
The following day, Riverside County Board of Supervisors Chairman Manuel Perez said he plans to ask the full board to terminate remaining public health orders this week amid evidence the threat is receding and the need for economic recovery is growing.
Perez said he and Supervisor Karen Spiegel will jointly present a motion Tuesday to nullify the four active health orders, signaling a potential end to restrictions that in some cases are more aggressive than those at the state level.
County orders still in effect include wearing face coverings outside the home at all times or face misdemeanor charges and fines, barring short-term rentals except in the case of providing emergency shelter for vulnerable persons, placing limits on playing golf, keeping schools closed and mandating social distancing.
If a majority of the board votes to rescind the orders, the county will revert to alignment with only mandates issued by Newsom, which focus on staying in the home under voluntary quarantine, with exceptions for so-called “essential” businesses and meeting everyday needs for personal well-being.
“We prepared for the expected hospital surge with two Federal Medical Stations that we have not had to use. Our hospital bed and ICU bed use have remained relatively consistent,” Perez said. “These data explain why our original modeling has changed.”
Several elected officials and community leaders from western Riverside County will hold a news conference in Riverside today to lay out the case for a reopening additional businesses.
Speakers at the event will include Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey, Corona Mayor Jim Steiner, First District Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries and Second District Riverside County Supervisor Spiegel. Officials from the Riverside and Corona chambers of commerce and business, Pastor Matt Brown of Sandals Church and business representatives are also scheduled to appear.
“Keeping the stay-at-home order in place indefinitely is creating a mental and physical impact on residents, who also are losing their jobs, their businesses and their ability to feed their families,” Bailey’s office said in a statement.
The speakers are expected to discuss progress in the fight vs. COVID-19 and to demonstrate that the area is ready to advance to the second stage of the state’s four-stage recovery plan. That phase allows for the reopening of businesses deemed lower risk and also loosen limits on access to public spaces.
So far, 53,333 people have been tested for the coronavirus in Riverside County. The county is seeking to expand screening facilities, with new sites potentially opening in the San Gorgonio Pass and the San Jacinto Valley, joining sites already in operation in Indio, Lake Elsinore, Perris and Riverside.