The number of COVID-positive patients hospitalized in Riverside County increased Friday, while 209 new cases were confirmed and five new virus-related deaths were reported.

According to the Riverside University Health System, COVID-related hospitalizations countywide rose to 243 Friday, compared to 229 on Thursday. The number of those patients in intensive care was 56, down from 57 on Thursday.

The cumulative number of COVID cases recorded since the pandemic began in March 2020 stood at 362,003 as of Friday, up from 361,794 on Thursday.

Officials said on Friday a total 5,134 deaths from virus-related complications have been recorded in the past roughly 19 months. The fatalities are trailing indicators because of delays processing death certificates and can go back a month, sometimes longer.

The number of known active virus cases countywide Friday was 3,375, up 194 from Thursday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 362,003 — according to the county Executive Office.

Verified patient recoveries countywide were 353,494.

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