Riverside County health officials reported another 1,393 COVID-19 infections Tuesday and four additional deaths.
The total number of coronavirus cases recorded in the county since the public health documentation period began in early March is now 43,376, with 824 deaths, according to the Riverside University Health System.
The number of known active virus cases countywide is 20,171, an increase of 906 from Monday, according to figures. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the overall cases, according to the county Executive Office.
The number of confirmed patient recoveries is 22,381. The county defines a recovery as someone who has not manifested symptoms for 14 days.
According to the RUHS, 358 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, one fewer than Monday. Hospitalizations include 112 patients in intensive care units.
Last Tuesday, Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton told the Board of Supervisors the county had “seen a downward trend in hospitalizations” over a nearly two-week span.
“We’ve steadily seen COVID-positive hospitalizations go down,” Barton said. “ICU utilization has also leveled off and come down.”
According to Barton, the greatest number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations are in District 4, which encompasses the Coachella Valley. Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage has seen the heaviest demand for COVID-19 treatment, requiring a 19-person federal medical team to assist on-site staff, the EMD director said.
Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the board that District 4 also has had the highest proportion of coronavirus-related deaths. She said 63% of all deaths linked to COVID-19 were correlated to underlying conditions, principally chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease.
The doubling time — or the number of days in which documented virus cases increase 100% in the county — is 34 days. A doubling rate of seven days is considered severe.
Several school districts in the county opened their fall semesters Monday, and others will follow in the coming weeks countywide. All districts are set up for distance — or online — instruction for the time being. However, once the county’s COVID-19 infection rate recedes, many schools will be eligible to apply for waivers from the California Department of Public Health that would enable them to proceed with limited in-person class activities.
Last week, some in-person sports activities were permitted to resume, but physical distancing and safety protocols must be in place. Tournaments, events and games indoors that require close contact among participants are still not allowed.
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