RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA — Over the course of a week, 3,484 new coronavirus cases and 49 virus-related deaths were reported in Riverside County. School waivers, 10 million face masks, postponement of high school sports, and questions about stimulus dollars were just some of the coronavirus-related headlines in Riverside County this week.

Friday’s COVID-19 Numbers:

An additional 654 new coronavirus infections were confirmed Friday, bringing the total to 33,467 since reporting began in March. Out of the total, 11,705 people have recovered from the virus, according to Riverside University Health System data.

Following two consecutive days of spiking coronavirus-related deaths, there were no deaths reported Friday. The county toll stands at 637.

Riverside County is behind only Los Angeles in its case load and death toll. California now has the most COVID-19 cases in the nation after passing New York Wednesday, though New York has recorded more fatalities.

According to RUHS, 523 people are hospitalized for COVID-19, 11 fewer than Thursday. Hospitalizations include 159 patients in intensive care units, which is up by four patients since Thursday.

As of Friday, 345,869 people have been screened for the virus in Riverside County since testing began.

The Week’s COVID-19 News in Riverside County:

—The 2021 Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival has been canceled, county officials said Friday. The fair, originally set for Feb. 12-21 at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio, was canceled due to logistical concerns related to the fairgrounds being used as a coronavirus testing center, and the site of a federal medical station. READ MORE: 2021 Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival Canceled

—Riverside County officials kicked off a “Masks Are Medicine” campaign Friday that they hope will help slow coronavirus spread and ensure reopening of all businesses and industry sectors. During a news briefing at the County Administrative Center in downtown Riverside, officials announced the campaign and vowed to distribute 10 million face masks at no charge to county residents and business owners. READ MORE: 10 Million Face Masks Being Distributed In Riverside County

—The California State Athletic Commission approved emergency regulations this week allowing for professional boxing, mixed martial arts and other combat sports to resume in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indio was scheduled Friday to hold the state’s first boxing match since the shutdown began. READ MORE: Combat Sports OK’d In Calif. Amid Coronavirus; Boxing In Indio

—Millions of dollars of federal CARES Act funds have been handed out to help cities in Riverside County and across the state deal with the impacts of coronavirus, but Palm Springs officials say the distribution formula is flawed. The officials claim their city and other smaller jurisdictions across the county have gotten shortchanged. READ MORE: Cities Shorted On Stimulus Money? Palm Springs Says It Was

—Hemet Police Department Chief Eddie Pust said Wednesday that criminals paroled early under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus emergency releases will cause crime to rise in his city and elsewhere. READ MORE: Early Inmate Release Will Cause Crime Spike: Hemet Police Chief

—Coronavirus-related news came from the state Tuesday when California health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced that school districts can apply to their local health departments for a waiver that could allow elementary schools to hold in-person classes during the 2020-21 school year. The waiver applies to counties on the state’s “watch list,” which includes Riverside County. The update follows Friday’s announcement by Gov. Gavin Newsom that school districts in watch-list counties were required to start the upcoming school year with an online-only model to help prevent COVID-19 spread. Read more about Dr. Ghaly’s remarks here.

—On Monday the state released updated guidelines for hair salons and barbershops as well as updated guidance for other personal care services. On July 13, the state ordered that gyms; hair, nail, and other personal-care salons; tattoo parlors; houses of worship; malls; and non-critical office settings move outdoors or close. The updated guidance shows the challenges associated with an outdoor move, including dealing with summer heat and disinfection protocols, among others.

—Riverside County restaurants, wineries, parks and other local venues that are hosting music or other live events got a warning Monday. READ MORE: Live Music Not Allowed In Riverside County Amid Coronavirus

—A civil liberties advocacy group filed suit Tuesday to challenge Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order barring schools in Riverside County and elsewhere from bringing students into classrooms this fall because of coronavirus infections. READ MORE: Back-To-School In Riverside County: Legal Challenge, Questions

—The California State University system is not planning to negotiate a furlough program for this fiscal year, but one “is most likely necessary” in the 2021-22 fiscal year because of revenue reductions related to the coronavirus outbreak, Chancellor Timothy P. White wrote this week. READ MORE: CSU System Fends Off 2020-21 Furloughs, But Cuts Likely Next Year

—The California Interscholastic Federation announced Monday that education-based athletics for the 2020-21 school year are delayed amid coronavirus concerns. READ MORE: CIF Delays School Sports: See Your Section’s Modified Schedule

This article originally appeared on the Temecula Patch

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