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Riverside County COVID cases starting to plateau according to health officials

Riverside County COVID-19 cases have started to plateau according to the county’s Deputy Public Health Officer, Dr. Shunling Tsang. 

"We're thinking is that we're we've reached a high level, and now we're seeing what we call a plateauing," said Dr. Tsang. "I'm hopefully optimistic that in the next week or two, we will see a sustained downward trend."

Riverside County reports Wednesday the COVID case rate is 225 per 100,00 residents. That’s the lowest case rate in two weeks. The peak case rate this month in the county was 259 per 100,000 residents. 

Case Rate:

  • Jan. 26 - 225.9
  • Jan. 25 - 249.2
  • Jan. 21 - 259.1
  • Jan. 20 - 255.1
  • Jan. 19 - 257.3
  • Jan. 18 - 256.0

The positivity rate has remained in the 30s over the last week.

Positivity Rate:

  • Jan. 26 - 33.3%
  • Jan. 25. - 33.5%
  • Jan. 21 - 34.3%
  • Jan. 20 - 35%
  • Jan. 19 - 35.4%
  • Jan. 18 - 34.9%

"We are seeing, you know, an improvement, although, you know, the positivity rate continues to be quite high,” said Dr. Tsang. “So if you think about that one in three people are positive for COVID-19 who test. That's a lot of people.”

Desert Care Network is seeing a similar trend in COVID patients at their hospitals.

"We have remained stable for the last week and a half and we're optimistic that this might be our high for this particular surge, and that we start seeing some relief within the next couple of weeks," said Desert Care Network Chief Strategy Officer of Community Advocacy Linda Evans. "We reached a peak probably for this year in early January, and we've been holding steady throughout the month, and that's been about 100 patients."

It's important to note that hospitalizations and deaths can still go up even as case rates decrease.

"If you think about after the infection, there's a period of time before people get hospitalized," said Dr. Tsang.

Another way to track upcoming COVID trends is through the wastewater report.

The evidence of COVID found in the Palm Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant has shown a sharp decrease within the past two weeks. The omicron variant continues to be the variant most detected. 

County health officials say that's a good sign however, we're not in the clear yet.

"Keep your guard up, you know, try to continue the social distancing and the masking because we do know those measures work," said Dr. Tsang. "And the vaccination is absolutely the best prevention tool that we have to help keep people safe."

Riverside County’s latest data is falling in line with California, which has seen COVID infection rates fall within the past few days.

The California Department of Public Health in a Wednesday update reported the daily COVID-19 case rate at 212 per 100,000 residents. Its peak this month was reported on Jan.10: the COVID-19 case rate was 292 per 100,000 residents.

The positivity rate in California is at 18.7% which is a 2.7% decrease from 7 days ago.

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.

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