Riverside County health officials Monday reported 1,022 new coronavirus infections since Friday and 14 additional deaths, bringing the cumulative case total to 13,800 and the death toll to 424.
Officials said the ascending numbers stem from a combination of factors, including additional cases being reported in long-term care facilities and state prisons, and the possibility that some of the protests against police brutality in recent weeks yielded infections.
Currently, 298 people are hospitalized countywide and receiving treatment for COVID-19, with 87 of those patients in intensive care units. Some of the patients are from Mexico and Imperial County, where large outbreaks have occurred, according to the Emergency Management Department.
The Riverside University Health System’s infection data covers the period going back to early March and includes those patients who have since recovered. The number of documented patient recoveries stands at 6,895.
RUHS officials said Monday that 3,500 randomly selected residents will be asked to take part in antibody studies to determine whether they’ve been exposed and have already recovered from the virus.
“It’s important to know the extent of the spread of the virus (and those who) have developed antibodies,” county Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari said. “That information is vital as we move forward.”
Residents cannot volunteer for the antibody research, and those who agree to participate after random sampling will have their blood drawn at one of nine sites countywide.
More information is available at www.rivcoph.org/antibodystudy.
Gov. Gavin Newsom last week ordered all California residents to wear face coverings in most settings outside their homes to help slow the spread of the virus. The statewide mandate requires residents to wear masks in “high-risk situations,” which cover virtually all scenarios.
Riverside County had previously rescinded its mask mandate, and it was unclear how closely the statewide directive would be enforced locally, if at all.
Meantime, more county businesses opened their doors Friday as the coronavirus regulatory bar was lowered further, and the county continued its transition through stage 3 of the governor’s four-stage de-regulation framework tied to the health emergency.
Nail salons, facial and esthetician providers, shaving, waxing and threading businesses, massage therapy outlets and tattoo and piercing parlors countywide are now eligible to resume operation under guidelines specified by the California Department of Public Health.
In stage 4 of the governor’s de-regulation framework, nightclubs, concert venues and sports venues will be eligible to reopen.