Confirmed coronavirus cases in western Riverside County have now outpaced numbers east in the Coachella Valley, a first since the outbreak began, county public health department data released Thursday shows.
As of Thursday morning, there were 107 confirmed cases of COVID-19 of county residents — 44 in the northwest, 41 in the Coachella Valley, 19 in the southwest and two in mid-county. Another resident, who acquired the virus while traveling on a cruise ship, remains in Northern California, officials said.
County health officials on Wednesday reported 48 additional cases, the largest one-day bump since the first case was reported March 8. Out of the new numbers, most were from outside the Coachella Valley.
Two additional deaths were also reported Wednesday, including the first fatality outside the Coachella Valley, brining the county’s death total to eight. A man in his 70s died due to complications associated with the disease. He lived in an area public health officials call the county’s mid-region, which includes Banning, Hemet and Anza, health officials said. Another death was reported earlier Wednesday in the Coachella Valley, where the first cases and deaths were reported.
Of the 107 cases, 24 were determined to have been acquired locally, four were travel-associated and 79 are under investigation to verify origin.
Members of the California National Guard on Thursday continued setting up a temporary hospital at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio in anticipation of an expected surge of coronavirus cases.
The 125-bed “federal medical station” will be built within existing buildings and be equipped with all necessary equipment. The new field hospital will help ease the burden on the local hospital system, said Brooke Federico, Riverside County’s public information officer.
It is expected to take 10 days to build the facility, which is expected to remain open for eight weeks, officials said.
Another temporary hospital will soon be set up in western Riverside County, Federico said. That site will have another 125 beds, but additional information, including the location, was not provided.
A moratorium on evictions went into effect late Wednesday in Cathedral City following the City Council’s unanimous vote that night to temporarily bar all evictions for residential and commercial renters until after the coronavirus pandemic subsides. The new rules do not wipe out rental debts.
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