The number of COVID-positive hospitalizations in Riverside County dropped below 60, and no additional virus-related deaths were reported Monday.
According to the Riverside University Health System, 54 people countywide are hospitalized with COVID-19, compared to 66 on Friday, and that includes 14 intensive care unit patients, one less than the end of last week.
No data was reported over the weekend.
RUHS said the aggregate number of COVID cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in March 2020 is 299,853, up 288 from Friday.
A total 4,593 deaths from virus-related complications have been recorded in the last 13 months, unchanged from the end of last week.
The number of known active virus cases countywide is 1,246, a drop of 149 from Friday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 299,853 — according to the county Executive Office. Verified patient recoveries countywide are at 294,014.
The coronavirus positivity is 1.6%, down from 1.9% two weeks ago, while the state-adjusted case rate is 2.7 per 100,000, based on a rolling seven- day average, compared to 3.4 per 100,000 two weeks ago.
Despite improving metrics, the county on May 4 did not meet the threshold required under the governor’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” framework to move into the yellow tier. The county’s positivity rate now meets that criteria, but the ongoing case rate is required to be 2 per 100,000 or less.
The issue may be moot if restrictions are universally lifted statewide, as planned by the governor, on June 15.
The yellow tier designation raises capacity limits for most businesses. The county entered the orange tier five weeks ago, removing some operational barriers for private and public entities. The county had been in the red tier since March 16, after five months in the most restrictive purple tier.
According to the California Department of Public Health, orange criteria permit retail businesses to fully open, while 50% attendance caps are supposed to be observed in restaurants, museums, movie theaters and zoos. The guidelines call for gyms, wineries and bars to maintain 25% caps.
Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the Board of Supervisors last week that 62% of county residents 65 years and older — those considered most vulnerable to virus-related hospitalization or death — have been fully vaccinated.
The portal to make an appointment for a vaccine at county-run and other sites can be accessed here. Anyone who needs assistance may also call the county’s 211 help line.