Riverside County Thursday logged an additional 1,132 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and reported an uptick in hospitalizations, but no new virus-related deaths.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 totaled 361 on Thursday, up 17 from the day before. That figure includes 80 intensive care unit patients, up three from Wednesday.

The number of known active virus cases is 6,384, up 545 from a day earlier. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total, according to the county Executive Office.

Riverside County is experiencing the highest number of COVID-positive hospitalizations since February, although it is well below the level seen during the winter surge, when more than 1,600 people where hospitalized with the virus.

The recent increase in new cases mirrors a nationwide surge, 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, Public Health Officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung theorized last week that the jump could be linked to the relaxation of state lockdown measures in June.

Health experts say the Delta variant 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.

The number of infections recorded in Riverside County since the pandemic began in March 2020 now stands at 312,705, according to the Riverside University Health System, which also reported 4,667 deaths in that span.

Verified patient recoveries countywide total 301,654.

According to RUHS, 58.2% of county residents 12 and older have received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot, and 50.3% have been fully vaccinated.

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