The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus in Riverside County fell again Thursday, but an additional 18 virus-related deaths were reported.

Numbers released Thursday by the Riverside University Health System showed COVID-related hospitalizations countywide were at 483, down 30 from Wednesday. The number includes 127 intensive care unit patients, 18 fewer than a day earlier.

Another 669 COVID infections were confirmed, lifting the county’s overall number since the pandemic began to 347,852.

A total 4,890 deaths from virus-related complications have been recorded in the last 18 months. The fatalities are trailing indicators because of delays processing death certificates and can go back weeks, according to health officials.

The number of known active virus cases in the county Thursday was 6,120, down 159 from a day earlier. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 347,852 — according to the county Executive Office. Verified patient recoveries countywide were 336,842.

On Monday, the RUHS Medical Center, in partnership with California’s Emergency Medical Services Authority, began welcoming patients to its new Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Center designated to mitigate severe diseases within COVID-19 patients.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses.

“Eligible patients will be administered REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab), an early treatment with monoclonal antibodies, which was first authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration in November 2020,” according to the RUHS.

To be eligible to receive this treatment, patients must be 12 and older, tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms that started within the last 10 days and suffer from potential risk factors.

Risk factors listed include: Body Mass Index equal to or greater than 25, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, immunosuppressive disease, receiving immunosuppressive treatment or being 65 or older, or being 55 and older and having either a chronic respiratory illness, hypertension or cardiovascular disease.

The center operates Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and can be found on the lower level of the RUHS Medical Center located at 26520 Cactus Ave. in Moreno Valley.

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