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 dead include 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.
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.
The county’s hospital numbers include non-residents who are being treated for COVID-19 within the county’s borders, including some from neighboring Imperial County.
Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton said Friday that the county had received more than 70 patients from Imperial County, which is in the midst of an outbreak. He said most of the patients arrived during the last two weeks of May, and they were part of a “large number of people south of the border coming across the border for medical care.”
In most cases, the patients were unable to obtain health services at Imperial County’s two hospitals, and in coordination with state officials, the individuals were transferred to one of the 16 medical facilities in Riverside County for care, according to Barton.
He confirmed that some of the patients had been counted among county residents hospitalized for coronavirus-related symptoms, and there was no distinction between the two in the COVID-19 hospital count published by the Riverside University Health System.
Barton said the countywide total hospital bed capacity of 3,560 and the ICU bed capacity of 385 have 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.
More than 125,000 Riverside County residents had been tested for the virus as of Tuesday afternoon, which accounts for more than 4% of the county’s population of nearly 2.5 million.
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