“We’re definitely seeing a very favorable trend in the number of cases that are in the hospital. Today, in fact, we’re down under 20 cases in the hospital from our peak at over 90 in July,” said Dr. Williamson, Eisenhower’s Chief Medical Officer.
This decline comes after a second round of closures and a statewide mask order were in effect.
“I definitely see more and more use of masks and more social distancing. Even though we’re allowing some businesses to open, it seems most folks are heeding the advice and continuing to protect themselves,” said Dr. Williamson.
Last week, Gov. Newsom released a color-coded system to track re-openings across the state.
Despite reporting lower case numbers in recent weeks, Riverside County remains in the purple or “widespread” category.
That level means the county has a positivity rate higher than 8 percent, and more than 7 positive new cases a day per 100,000 residents.
“90 percent of counties in the state are at the purple level. Given the criteria that the governor has, and the tiers that he has, it’s still going to be a little bit before we get to the next level,” said Riverside University Public Health spokesperson Jose Arballo Jr.
The next level after “widespread” is called “substantial,” and opens more non-essential indoor businesses.
It also requires a positivity rate between 5 and 8 percent.
“They review the numbers every Tuesday, so by next Monday we want to be at the good level. Then the clock starts. And then for two weeks after that, if we’re still in those good numbers then we can potentially go to red,” said Arballo Jr.
Even one day of higher case numbers during that two week period can restart the countdown.
But, Dr. Williamson says the next level isn’t too far out of reach.
“I think we’re on a good trajectory right now. We just need you to continue to be diligent in protecting yourself and your community from this virus for the foreseeable future, unfortunately,” said Dr. Williamson.