Riverside County health officials Wednesday confirmed 58 more cases of coronavirus, bringing the countywide case total to 429, but the number of deaths held steady at 13.
The majority of the county’s 13 COVID-19 deaths have occurred in the Coachella Valley.
According to health officials, 40 of the county’s 429 patients have recovered from the disease, up from 30 on Tuesday.
The number of cases, however, is anticipated to continue rising. On Tuesday, Riverside University Health System officials estimated that by April 12, all 102 of the county’s intensive care unit beds could be full. By April 22, all hospital beds could be filled.
All 172 available ventilators — which helps patients breathe when they can’t do so on their own — could be used by April 26, according to the modeling.
The RUHS estimated that 3,000 ICU beds would be needed by early May, along with 9,000 regular hospital beds, noting that the virus numbers double every 4.7 days. By early May, 1,000 people could die and about 30,000 people be infected by COVID-19, according to the health system.
As of Tuesday, 4,700 people had been tested for the coronavirus in Riverside County, according to county public health spokesman Jose Arballo. The local mortality rate remains slightly over 1%, he said. By comparison, Los Angeles County is reporting a 1.8% mortality rate.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for LifeStream Blood Bank told City News Service that a series of blood drives will go ahead as planned this month in multiple locations throughout western Riverside County, with extra precautions to mitigate risks associated with the coronavirus.
A third county-run drive-thru testing location opened Wednesday at the Harvest Christian Fellowship church in Riverside. The testing is by appointment only, with the location open Tuesday through Saturday.
Drive-thru testing is also available in the parking lot at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio.
The testing site is on the same property as two buildings that members of the California National Guard converted into a 125-bed medical facility to be staffed by 30 to 40 doctors, nurses, technicians and volunteers. Staff began arriving at the field hospital Monday, but it was unclear when they would begin accepting patients.
Officials want temporary hospitals set up and treating non-critically ill patients — including those being treated for illnesses other than coronavirus — before the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases hits. Another 125-bed temporary hospital is slated to be set up in western Riverside County, but that location has not yet been identified.
Testing at the fairgrounds will be available by appointment only Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., in parking lots 5 and 5A off of Arabia Street, between Highway 111 and Doctor Carreon Boulevard.
An additional COVID-19 screening location is situated at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore, where appointment-only patients can get drive-thru service between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Sundays to Thursdays. Anyone who lives within a 50-mile radius of the Riverside metropolitan area can access the site.
People who want to get tested must call 800-945-6171 to be screened for specific symptoms. Appointments for the Lake Elsinore site can also be made online at www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19.
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