Riverside County reported 11 more deaths related to COVID-19, according to the latest data, along with 335 new cases and an increase in the number of people hospitalized with the virus.

A total of 5,047 deaths from virus-related complications have been recorded in the past 18 months, according to the Riverside University Health System.

COVID-related hospitalizations countywide were at 321 Wednesday, up three from Tuesday, according to RUHS. That number includes 85 intensive care patients, up two from Tuesday.

The newly reported infections lifted the county’s overall number since the pandemic began to 356,457.

The number of known active virus cases in the county Wednesday was 4,438, down 596 from Tuesday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 356,457 — according to the county Executive Office.

Verified patient recoveries countywide were 346,972.

The RUHS began administering Pfizer vaccine booster shots Sept. 25. The move followed the approval of such boosters by federal officials a week prior.

To receive a Pfizer vaccine booster, residents must have received their second vaccine dose of Pfizer at least six months ago. To be eligible, residents must be either 65 years or older or be 18-64 years old and either have underlying health conditions that put them at risk of COVID-19 or be at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to occupational or institutional reasons, such as being a health care worker.

“The booster vaccine is something that has been discussed for many weeks and we are very excited that Public Health, along with our community partners, are now in a position to move forward,” said Dr. Geoffrey Leung, public health officer for Riverside County.

“Those who are eligible should be confident that a vaccine booster will be available for anyone who wants one.”

To learn more about clinic locations or to make an appointment, visit myturn.ca.gov.

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