The number of COVID-positive patients under intensive care in Riverside County edged higher, while overall hospitalizations were unchanged, and eight additional virus-related deaths were reported in the latest data.

According to the Riverside University Health System, the number of ICU patients increased to 91, compared to 85 Wednesday, and total hospitalizations were at 321 — the same as a day ago.

RUHS said the aggregate number of COVID cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in March 2020 is 356,906. Wednesday’s number was 356,457.

Officials said a total 5,055 deaths from virus-related complications have been recorded in the last roughly 19 months. The fatalities are trailing indicators because of delays processing death certificates and can go back a month, sometimes longer, according to RUHS.

The number of known active virus cases countywide is 4,301, down 137 from a day ago. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 356,906 — according to the county Executive Office. Verified patient recoveries countywide are 347,550.

The county began administering Pfizer vaccine booster shots on Sept. 25.

To receive a SARS-CoV-2 booster, residents must have received their second Pfizer vaccine dose a minimum of six months ago. Other eligibility requirements are that residents must be 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 the virus due to occupational or institutional reasons, such as being a health care worker.

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