Only one ICU coronavirus patient in the Coachella Valley

Taylor Martinez & City News Service

Coachella Valley hospitals reported Wednesday there is just one coronavirus patient in the intensive care unit within Coachella Valley hospitals.

The one patients is at Desert Regional Medical Center.

Eisenhower Medical Center and JFK Memorial have none.

This is the first time since March 2020 that our hospitals are seeing this.

“We thank our community for doing their part in helping us get here, but please stay vigilant so we can stay here,” said officials with Eisenhower Health.

Riverside County Wednesday reported 269 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, 18 additional virus-related deaths and a slight drop in COVID-19-related hospitalizations.

The aggregate number of coronavirus cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in March 2020 is 294,461, according to the Riverside University Health System.

RUHS officials said a total 4,315 deaths from virus-related complications have been recorded in the last 12 months. The fatalities are trailing indicators because of delays processing death certificates.

COVID-positive patients in hospitals countywide numbered 119 as of Wednesday, three fewer than Tuesday. That includes 30 intensive care unit patients, the same as a day ago.

The number of known active virus cases countywide is 2,611, down 164. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 294,461 — according to the county Executive Office.

With the COVID-19 positivity rate continuing to fall, county public health officials are eying a move to a less restrictive tier of the governor’s reopening plan, perhaps as early as next week

Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that because the “numbers are looking good,” the California Department of Public Health is poised to change the county’s designation to orange from red under the governor’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” framework.

The 2.3% coronavirus positivity rate in testing represents a six-month low and is down from 2.7% last week. The daily state-adjusted case rate of 4.1 per 100,000 residents, which reflects a rolling seven-day average, is down from 4.8 per 100,000 a week ago.

Saruwatari told the board that with the downward trends and vaccine supplies now in excess of current demand, the county qualifies for orange tier classification as early as next week.

The county has been in the red tier since March 16, and in the five months prior to that was in the most restrictive purple tier. The lowering of the regulatory bar meant many businesses could resume operations at 25% capacity. The orange designation raises the cap to 50% for many entities, though some, such as gyms and amusement parks, would be required to remain at 25%, according to the CDPH.

More information is available HERE.

Beginning Thursday, vaccination eligibility will expand to all residents 50 and over, per the CDPH guidelines. Starting April 15, residents 16 and up can get a shot.

In Riverside County, vaccination of seniors continues to be a priority, and almost two-thirds of those 65 and over have received at least the first immunization dose. Others who qualify under the CDPH guidelines include utility workers, public transit workers, disaster preparedness workers, first responders, food service workers, teachers and some agricultural workers.

Those with pre-existing disorders or who are permanently disabled may also obtain shots from their health care providers.

The portal to make an appointment for vaccination at county-run and other sites can be accessed HERE. Anyone who needs assistance may also call the county’s 211 help line.

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