Riverside County health officials Wednesday reported another 607 confirmed coronavirus infections and 29 additional COVID-19 deaths.
The aggregate number of cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March stands at 43,983, compared to 43,376 on Tuesday, and the death toll from COVID-19 rose to 853, up from 824 a day earlier.
The number of known active virus cases countywide is 20,277, an increase of 106 from Tuesday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 43,983 — according to the county Executive Office.
The number of confirmed patient recoveries is 22,853. The county defines a recovery as someone who has not manifested symptoms for 14 days.
According to the Riverside University Heatlh System, 335 people are hospitalized for COVID-19, 23 fewer than Tuesday. Hospitalizations include 106 patients in intensive care units.
Last week, Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton told the Board of Supervisors that the county had “seen a downward trend in hospitalizations” beginning the last week of July, with both general COVID-positive hospitalizations and ICU referrals trending lower.
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 that nearly two-thirds — 63% — of all deaths coded as 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% — is 34 days. A doubling rate of seven days is considered severe.
Several school districts began their fall semesters Monday, and others will follow in the coming weeks countywide. All districts are set up for distance — or online — instruction for now. 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, enabling them to proceed with limited in-person class activities.
Last week, in-person sports activities were permitted to resume, but physical distancing and safety protocols must be in place.