RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County health officials on Monday reported that 991 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the county since Friday. They also reported that two more people had died from the virus.

The county also reported that 365 people have been hospitalized with the virus with 106 being treated in intensive care units.

Locally, Temecula had 19 more cases than Friday before, Murrieta added 26, Menifee added 33, Lake Elsinore added 20 and Hemet added 25 new cases.

Since Friday, the number of known active COVID-19 cases has expanded from 7,822 to 8,527, and the number of deaths stemming from complications related to the virus edged up from 438 to 440, according to the Riverside University Health System.

Officials said last week the active case count is obtained by discounting deaths and patient recoveries from the aggregate infection number. Since early March, a total of 16,634 coronavirus cases have been documented, according to RUHS. In that time, 7,667 people have recovered from the virus, exhibiting no symptoms after 14 days.

RUHS officials said about 60% of the county’s hospital beds are filled, and 365 COVID-19 patients are occupying them, including 106 in intensive care units. There are 3,560 hospital beds available at more than a dozen medical facilities countywide.

The county’s coronavirus testing positivity rate over the past week was 10.6%, which is higher than the state’s 8% standard.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said the virus is spreading so rapidly in Imperial County that the state asked officials there to reinstate a strict stay-at-home order because the hospital system in the area can’t handle the surge in cases.

Riverside County Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton told the
Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that 10 to 15 patients a day are being transferred from Imperial County to Riverside County and surrounding jurisdictions. Many of those patients include Mexican nationals, he said.

The governor last week ordered all California residents to wear face coverings in most settings outside their homes to help slow the spread of the virus. The statewide mandate requires residents to wear masks in “high-risk situations,” which cover virtually all scenarios.

Riverside County had previously rescinded its mask mandate.

The county was advancing into stage 3 of the governor’s four-stage public health de-regulation plan. But with COVID-19 cases spiking, and the renewed restrictions announced, that process may now be on hold.

Jeff Pack contributed to this report. 

City News Service (CNS)