Riverside County health officials Friday reported another 526 confirmed coronavirus cases and five additional deaths, while hospitalizations dropped markedly.

The aggregate number of COVID-19 infections recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March is 49,482, compared to 48,956 on Thursday.

According to the Riverside University Health System, the total number of deaths tied to COVID-19 stands at 927.

The number of known active virus cases countywide is 21,763, an increase of 111. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 48,956 — according to the county Executive Office. The number of verified patient recoveries is 26,792.

According to RUHS, 252 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 — down 55 in the last day. Hospitalizations include 81 patients in intensive care units.

One week ago, the number of hospitalizations was reported to be 314, with 91 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in ICU beds. A month ago, the figures were 536 and 135, respectively.

Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton told the Board of Supervisors earlier this month that the county had “seen a downward trend in hospitalizations,” with the greatest number of coronavirus-related hospital admissions in District 4, which encompasses the Coachella Valley.

Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage has seen the heaviest demand for COVID-19 treatment, requiring a 19-person federal medical team to assist on-site staff, the EMD director said.

According to Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari, nearly two-thirds — 63% — of all deaths coded as COVID-19 have been correlated to underlying conditions, principally chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease.

The doubling time — or the number of days in which documented virus cases increase 100% — is 40 days. A doubling rate of seven days is reason for alarm, while expanding doubling times point to moderation, or gradual success in virus containment, according to health officials.

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