What to Know
- Under the orange tier, retail businesses have the go-ahead 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.
- The target date for an end to all restrictions on businesses, gatherings and recreation throughout the state is June 15 -- provided there are no signs of a backward slide.
With metrics pointing to continued progress in COVID-19 mitigation, Riverside County Wednesday moves into the less-restrictive orange tier of the state's economic reopening plan.
"We continue to make real progress with combating COVID-19 and the impacts on our businesses and communities,'' Board of Supervisors Chair Karen Spiegel said. "Cases have been steadily declining, vaccine supply is improved. These are extremely positive signs that Riverside County continues to move forward and recover.''
The county has been in the red tier of the "Blueprint for a Safer Economy'' framework since March 16, after five months in the most restrictive purple tier. Updated state COVID data were released Tuesday.
According to the California Department of Public Health, under the orange tier, retail businesses have the go-ahead 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.
Beginning April 15, receptions and conferences can be held with up to 150 attendees, on the condition that they, at minimum, be tested for coronavirus.
Local news from across Southern California
Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that the target date for an end to all restrictions on businesses, gatherings and recreation throughout the state is June 15 -- provided there are no signs of a backward slide.
The county's metrics are squarely in the orange qualifier, but still just outside the parameters set for yellow tier status, which represents "minimal'' presence of the virus.
According to the Riverside University Health System, the coronavirus positivity rate countywide is now 2%, compared to 2.3% last week. The state-adjusted case rate is 3.5 per 100,000 people, which reflects a rolling seven-day average. Last week, it was 4.1 per 100,000.
The RUHS said 102 people diagnosed with COVID-19 are in hospitals countywide Tuesday, up from 97 Monday, and that includes 21 intensive care unit patients with the virus, two fewer than Monday.
California COVID-19 Vaccinations
The map tracks the number of doses administered by a recipient's county of residence according to the The California Department of Public Health.
Monday's drop below 100 matched the COVID hospital count of one year ago, when hospitalization figures were first reported by the RUHS.
The aggregate number of COVID cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in March 2020 is 295,631, up 205 from Monday.
Officials said a total of 4,417 deaths from virus-related complications have been recorded in the last year. On Monday, the number was 4,389. The fatalities are trailing indicators because of delays processing death certificates.
The number of known active virus cases countywide is 2,290, down 505.
The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total -- 295,631 -- according to the county Executive Office. Verified patient recoveries countywide are at 288,924.
Last week, the CDPH lowered vaccination eligibility to anyone 50 and up. Beginning Tuesday, residents as young as 16 years old were eligible for immunization at one of four county health clinics.
Only the Pfizer vaccine is available to 16-year-olds, who must have a parent or guardian provide consent for a shot.
The eligibility threshold to include everyone as young as 16 was supposed to occur statewide on April 15. Executive Office spokeswoman Brooke Federico told City News Service that because the county is now well stocked on vaccines and fewer people are making appointments at clinics, the decision was made to move forward with adjusting the eligibility criteria.
The portal to make an appointment for vaccination at county-run and other sites can be accessed via www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine. Anyone who needs assistance may also call the county's 211 help line.