RIVERSIDE — Riverside County Public Health officials reported on Tuesday 662 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 new deaths, both one-day record totals since the Department of Public Health began tracking data related to the virus back in March.

The 17 deaths reported on Tuesday is more than the total number of deaths during the entire prior week (15 from June 23-29).

Also, 38 more people were hospitalized since Monday (403) and three more people were moved into intensive care units.

Overall, 7,854 people have recovered from the virus, which represents a jump of 187 newly-healthy patients since Monday. So far, the county has tested 230,892 residents for the virus.

Locally on Tuesday, Murrieta saw the highest number of new cases with 22 more than reported on Monday and 277 cases overall. Temecula added 14 (269 cases), Wildomar added 11 (127) and one new death (5), Lake Elsinore added 10 new cases (289), Canyon Lake added four (21), Menifee added 21 new cases (327), Hemet added 15 (447) and one new death, and San Jacinto added 20 (307) and one new death.

In local communities, Anza, Lakeland Village, and Winchester saw no new cases, but East Hemet added two new cases (74) and French Valley added four new cases (83). None of the communities suffered a new death caused by the virus.

The county reported that there were 248 confirmed cases in county jails with 207 recoveries and another 1,054 cases recorded in state prisons countywide.

Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton and other public health officials addressed the recent rapid growth in documented COVID-19 cases, saying the numbers were adding to burdens on the 17 hospitals within the county, but none were out of beds for virus
patients and others in need of medical care.

Utilizing a new method to track active cases in the county, Tuesday’s data showed the
total number of known active infections stands at 8,985, compared to 8,527 on Monday. According to county health officials, the new active case count is obtained by discounting deaths and patient recoveries from the aggregate infection number.

The number of documented patient recoveries is 7,854, but Supervisor Chuck Washington observed that the number of recoveries “is likely higher.”

“You’ve got people out there who never knew they were infected and have recovered,” he said.

According to Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari, the county’s positivity rate for COVID-19 screening is running close to 12%, while the state’s preferred benchmark is 8%. She said the infection rate translates to 202 per 100,000 residents.

Saruwatari told the board that the “doubling rate” — when the number of COVID-19 cases increases 100% over a given period — is at 27 days. The metric is considered a key indicator of moderation or intensification of viral spread. It is in a severe category when the doubling rate is seven days.

City News Service contributed to this report.