RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CNS) — Riverside County Tuesday moved back to the less- restrictive tier of the state's coronavirus reopening plan, paving the way for a resumption of indoor dining and other loosened restrictions.
The revised qualifier for red tier status is an average daily infection rate of 10 per 100,000 residents — Riverside County logged 6.1 per 100,000 residents, according to data released Tuesday by the California Department of Public Health. The county reported 8.3 per 100,000 residents last week.
County officials previously announced loosened restrictions would officially take hold Wednesday, although up-to-date information on the rollout was unavailable as noon.
Under the new designation, indoor operations will be permitted to resume at gyms, zoos, museums, movie theaters, places of worship and other facilities, with capacity restrictions.
The county had previously been in the red tier of the governor's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy" framework between mid-September and mid- October, but was returned to purple-tier limitations by the CDPH based on rising infection rates and below-average testing.
As of data available Monday, patients diagnosed with coronavirus numbered 195 as of Monday, compared to 234 on Friday, according to the Riverside University Health System. The decline marks the first time since the first week of November that the hospitalization count has fallen under 200.
RUHS figures showed 45 COVID-positive intensive care unit patients, 11 less than the end of last week.
The aggregate number of COVID-19 cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in March 2020 is 292,293, up 427 from Friday.
The county also reported 13 additional deaths from coronavirus-related complications on Monday, bringing the number of fatalities to 3,984. The fatalities are trailing indicators because of delays processing death certificates.
The number of known active virus cases countywide was 4,142 as of Monday, down 867 from Friday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 292,293 — according to the county Executive Office. Verified patient recoveries countywide are now at 284,167.
The county's coronavirus positivity rate settled at 4.1% last week, the lowest since early October. The rate was 5.8% during the first week of the month.
Officials said vaccination of seniors continues to be a priority, but others who qualify under the CDPH Phase 1 guidelines include hospital workers, first responders, food service workers, teachers and some agricultural workers.
Beginning Tuesday, some residents 18 to 64 years old with underlying medical conditions, as well as most people with disabilities, are eligible for vaccinations, according to the CDPH.
"Individuals with conditions are strongly encouraged to seek vaccination with a primary health care provider or system, or in an alternate clinical setting," the agency stated. "Check first with your usual health care provider."
The portal to make an appointment for vaccination can be accessed via www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine. Anyone who needs assistance may also call the county's 211 help line.