The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus in Riverside County rose slightly Friday, and an additional six virus-related deaths were reported.
Numbers released Friday by the Riverside University Health System showed COVID-related hospitalizations countywide were at 485, up two from Thursday. The number includes 130 intensive care unit patients, three more than a day earlier.
Another 719 COVID infections were confirmed, lifting the county’s overall number since the pandemic began to 348,571.
A total 4,896 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 Friday was 6,021, down 99 from a day earlier. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 348,571 — according to the county Executive Office. Verified patient recoveries countywide were 337,654.
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.