Riverside County health officials Friday reported 624 new coronavirus cases, three additional virus-related deaths and an increase in hospitalizations.

The number of COVID-19 cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in March 2020 grew to 308,546, according to the Riverside University Health System, which also reported 4,662 deaths since the pandemic began.

There were 15 new COVID-positive hospital patients as of Friday, bringing the total to 261, RUHS officials said. This total includes 65 intensive care unit patients, up four from Thursday.

The number of known active virus cases was 4,408, up 174 from the day before. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total, according to the county Executive Office. Verified patient recoveries countywide are 299,476.

The number of people being treated in hospitals for COVID-19 remains “far below” the level seen during the winter virus surge, county Public Health Officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

The increase in new COVID-19 cases mirrors the nationwide increase, with federal health officials blaming the highly infectious Delta strain of the virus first detected in India.

When asked about a possible culprit for the sudden increase in cases in Riverside County, Leung theorized that the jump could be linked to the relaxation of state lockdown measures in June.

Officials said the Delta variant of COVID-19 is highly contagious, spreading more easily from person to person. State health officials reiterated Monday that the variant is preying on the unvaccinated population, which has an infection rate nearly seven times higher than that of vaccinated residents.

According to RUHS, 57.3% of county residents 12 and older have received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot, and 49.6% have been fully vaccinated.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.