Jeff Pack
Staff Writer

Riverside County Public Health officials Monday, Sept. 14 reported 693 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 deaths since last Friday, bringing the total number of cases within the county to 55,766 since the county began recording data. 

Day by day, the county reported 338 new cases on Saturday, 91 on Sunday, and 264 on Monday.

The total number of people that have died from the virus since the county began now sits at 1,118. The county reported 10 deaths on Saturday, none on Sunday, and five on Monday

There were 29 fewer people hospitalized with the virus since Friday, for a new total of 151 hospitalizations. The county reported 48 of those patients were in intensive care units, five less than before the weekend started.

Overall, 50,589 people have recovered from the virus, 976 more than the Friday before, the county has tested 575,906 residents for the virus.

The county reported that there were 403 confirmed cases in county jails and another 1,944 cases recorded in state prisons within the county. Prisons have experienced more than 100 new cases over the weekend. 

“At the beginning of the pandemic, Riverside County led the state in per capita testing. We need to pick up our testing again — for both the purpose of isolating the sick and to help us safely reopen more parts of our community,” said RUHS Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari.

Though Riverside County has the volume to test 4,000 people a day, only half that number have been getting tested at county and state testing sites in recent weeks, RUHS officials said. They believe this is partly due to more private providers offering antigen and antibody testing, which is not calculated in the state’s testing metric for active infections.

There are 13 screening sites countywide, and they can be found at gettested.ruhealth.org.

Officials have urged those with and without symptoms to get tested, as well as younger people who traditionally have not gotten screened at the same rate as other groups.

On Aug. 28, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a four-tier, color-coded system that’s used to assess the speed at which to loosen public health regulations impacting businesses, some of which have permanently closed countywide. The county remains in the most restrictive purple tier, requiring many indoor enterprises to remain shut down or to limit capacity.

In order for the county to move to the next level, the red tier, it has to document fewer than seven new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population on a rolling seven-day average, and the positivity testing rate must be less than 8% in the same period.

The county reached the positivity rate that will allow it to move to the red tier (7.8%), but the case rate remains higher than the state’s requirement, RUHS officials said. Last week, the state began adjusting the case rate higher for counties that are not meeting the required daily average testing volume, which brought Riverside County’s case rate from 7.4 to 8.6, according to the RUHS.

Riverside County began including a count of the recoveries in each city and community and Valley News has reformatted the report to make the numbers easier to read and interpret. 

The current number of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries by city and community:

Temecula
Confirmed Cases: 1,007
Deaths: 10
Recovered: 930

Murrieta
Confirmed Cases: 1,153
Deaths: 21
Recovered: 1,040

Wildomar
Confirmed Cases: 546
Deaths: 14
Recovered: 478

Lake Elsinore
Confirmed Cases: 1,189
Deaths: 20
Recovered: 1,104

Canyon Lake
Confirmed Cases: 99
Deaths: 2
Recovered: 86

Menifee
Confirmed Cases: 1,414
Deaths: 25
Recovered: 1,207

Hemet
Confirmed Cases: 1,620
Deaths: 59
Recovered: 1,457

San Jacinto
Confirmed Cases: 1,081
Deaths: 23
Recovered: 995

Anza
Confirmed Cases: 13
Deaths: 0
Recovered: 13

East Hemet
Confirmed Cases: 330
Deaths: 6
Recovered: 283

French Valley
Confirmed Cases: 310
Deaths: 1
Recovered: 285

Lakeland Village
Confirmed Cases: 209
Deaths: 2
Recovered: 190

Valle Vista
Confirmed Cases: 225
Deaths: 5
Recovered: 194

Winchester
Confirmed Cases: 20
Deaths: 0
Recovered: 18

Daily updates and more information on coronavirus in Riverside County can be found on the county’s website, https://www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus.

City News Service contributed to this report. 

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com