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I-Team: Riverside County failing to meet some state criteria for coronavirus

The California Department of Public Health's website shows which counties meet the state's threshold criteria for coronavirus and which do not.

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A green check means a county meets the criteria for a certain category, which includes "elevated disease transmission," "increasing hospitalization," and "limited hospital capacity."

For example, San Bernardino County has check marks for all of those.

But numbers are displayed where a county falls short and this includes Riverside County under the category "elevated disease transmission."

A county is flagged for "elevated disease transmission" if the case rate per 100,000 people is greater than 100 or the case rate per 100,000 is greater than 25, and testing positivity is greater than eight percent.

For Riverside County, both measurements are slightly higher: 100.6 cases per 100,000 and testing positivity at 9.9 percent.

Brooke Federico, Riverside County's public information officer, spoke with News Channel 3 to explain what this signifies.

"It means that the state is watching us more closely. So they're reviewing our numbers more closely, engaging in conversations with our public health department," Federico said.

Right now, Riverside County does meet the criteria for "increasing hospitalization" and "limited hospital capacity" but compare Riverside County's case rate of 100.6 per 100,000 to Los Angeles County's 156.6, or Imperial County's whopping 671.5.

Imperial County also has a testing-positivity percentage of 26.2, which is more than double Riverside County's 9.9.

Riverside County meets the percentage of ventilators currently available while Imperial County has zero.

"We are still well within our regular hospital capacity and when we reach our regular hospital capacity that's when we go into our surge planning, where hospitals can increase the number of people they can treat at their hospital," Federico said.

Riverside County officials also say our numbers include the jails and state prison in Blythe. When you remove the prison population from the data, the county's numbers are much closer to meeting the state's criteria.

Click here to view the county monitoring data

Coronavirus / Investigative / News / News Headlines / Top Stories

Peter Daut


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