Riverside County health officials Wednesday reported three new coronavirus deaths and 148 additional infections, bringing the death toll to 345 and the case total to 8,303.
The latest fatalities involved a man in his 60s from Rancho Mirage, a woman in her 90s from Riverside and a man in his 70s from Riverside, according to Jose Arballo, spokesman for the Riverside University Health System,
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Riverside County increased by eight to 211 compared to Tuesday, while the number of patients being treated in intensive care units increased by four to 66.
Documented recoveries rose by 93 to 4,804.
As of Wednesday, more than 125,000 Riverside County residents had been tested for the virus, which accounts for more than 4% of the county’s population of nearly 2.5 million.
According to Arballo, the hospital numbers include non-residents who are being treated for COVID-19 at Riverside County medical centers, mostly from neighboring Imperial County, which is in the midst of an outbreak and has .
More than 70 patients from Imperial County were admitted to Riverside County hospitals during the last two weeks of May.
Arballo told City News Service Wednesday afternoon that another 22 patients from Imperial County had either been transferred or walked in to Riverside County hospitals since then, although he said it was unclear how many were still being treated.
Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton said Friday that Imperial County has two hospitals that could not accommodate all the cases in that region. In coordination with state officials, patients were transferred to one of the 16 medical facilities in Riverside County for care, according to Barton. Orange County hospitals also admitted Imperial County patients.
Barton said the countywide total hospital bed capacity of 3,560 and the ICU bed capacity of 385 had not been seriously impacted by the Imperial Valley arrivals, and the “metrics for reopening” the county under the governor’s multi-stage de-regulation plan should not be affected.
The county is in the accelerated half of stage 2 of the framework, permitting retail establishments, hair salons, dine-in restaurants and gaming facilities to operate with restrictions. In stage 3, theaters and sporting venues will be permitted to reopen.
Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari said the county is already in the qualification range to advance to the next stage. She also pointed out the need for ongoing testing among residents and encouraged those who haven’t been screened to make an appointment via rivcoph.org/coronavirus/testing.
In Riverside County, the so-called “doubling time” — or the amount of time it takes for the county’s case total to increase by 100% — is now over 30 days. A seven-day doubling event is considered troubling. Longer doubling times point to moderation, according to health officials.
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