Riverside County moved back to purple tier in CA reopening framework as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations increase

The California Department of Public Health has moved Riverside County's classification back to the most restrictive purple tier under the state's color-coded coronavirus reopening system.
The California Department of Public Health has moved Riverside County's classification back to the most restrictive purple tier under the state's color-coded coronavirus reopening system.

The change means some businesses like restaurants, gyms and movie theaters will be forced to shut down indoor services. Those changes will have to take place within the next 72 hours, health officials said Tuesday morning. Nail salons were recently shifted to the state's purple tier and may continue current indoor operations.

Supervisor Karen Spiegel says the change equals "nailing the coffin shut'' on some operations.

The shift came after Riverside County officials engaged in a week-long adjudication process with the state to try to avoid the move to the more-restrictive tier.

Now, Riverside County will have to stay in the purple tier for at least the next three weeks before it can have a chance at moving back to red. The county will have to meet the standards for the red tier for at least two of those weeks before making the change.

The county's COVID-19 case rate currently stands at 9.1 cases per 100,000 people, a figure that is high enough to push the county into the purple tier. But the positivity rate of 5.2% is within the red tier range.

Officials say Riverside County's ability to meet the standards is also worsened by the county not conducting enough tests per person. The statewide testing median is 239 people a day per 100,000 residents, while Riverside County is at 195.

Here's a breakdown of California's new 4-tier system for tracking COVID
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The overall number of coronavirus cases in Riverside County climbed over the weekend, increasing by 791, and three additional deaths. The aggregate number of COVID-19 infections recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March is 64,668, compared to 63,284 on Friday, according to the Riverside University Health System. The number of deaths tied to COVID-19 now stands at 1,273.
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