Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients have climbed past 600 in Riverside County, which also reported 2,027 new coronavirus infections and four additional deaths Monday.

According to data released Monday by the Riverside University Health System, 64 new COVID-related hospitalizations were reported over the weekend, bringing the countywide number to 621. The number of patients admitted to intensive care units increased by 25 from Friday, to 131.

The four additional virus-related deaths reported Monday bring the county’s total to 4,701. Fatalities are trailing indicators because of delays processing death certificates, and can date back weeks.

The 2,027 new cases reported Monday bring the aggregate number of COVID infections recorded in the county to 327,971 since March 2020, when the pandemic began. The number of known active virus cases countywide was 7,064, down 58 from Friday.

The county updates its figures Monday through Friday.

Last week, federal health officials recommended that all vaccinated Americans get a booster shot eight months after they become fully vaccinated. That amounts to a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine — and “likely” an additional dose for people who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

Those shots could begin the week of Sept. 20, according to a joint statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the RUHS, more than 61% of all county residents have either been fully or partially vaccinated.

County health officials are also attempting to collect statistics on the number of hospitalizations involving residents who have been partially or fully vaccinated, according to agency spokesman Jose Arballo.

The recent increase in COVID cases mirrors a nationwide surge, and health officials say the highly contagious Delta variant has helped fuel the escalation, as has the relaxation of state lockdown measures in June.

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