Jeff Pack
Staff Writer

Riverside University Health System reported 890 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 24 deaths due to the virus since Tuesday, the most reported in a single day by the county since the outbreak began. 

In all, 27,371 have tested positive for the virus to date and 577 people have died since the county began recording data back in early March.

The county reported 220 people have recovered from the virus overnight and 12 more people were admitted into the hospital, 548 total. There are currently 141 people currently being treated in ICUs for the virus, five more since the day before. 

Locally, Temecula added 22 cases (480). Murrieta added 28 (543), Wildomar added a one day record of 17 (236), Lake Elsinore added 28 (524), Canyon Lake added one (36), Menifee added 22 (564), Hemet added 17 (674), and San Jacinto added 20 (490).

In local communities, Anza added no new cases (7), East Hemet added six (137), French Valley added five (147), Lakeland Village added eight (85), Valley Vista added three (88), and Winchester added one more case (5).

So far, one person has died from Temecula, 11 from Murrieta, five from Wildomar, 10 from Lake Elsinore, none from Canyon Lake, nine from Menifee, 29 from Hemet, eight from San Jacinto, none from Anza, two from East Hemet, one from French Valley, one from Lakeland Village, none from Valle Vista, and none from Winchester. 

The county reported that there were 260 confirmed cases in county jails and another 1,179 cases recorded in state prisons within the county. 

On Tuesday, the county reported that 297,638 have been tested so far, 3,249 more than the day before, 

The known active COVID-19 case count is 16,681, up 646 from Tuesday, figures showed. According to the county executive office, the active case count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current cumulative total — 27,371.

The number of confirmed patient recoveries is 10,113, officials said. The county defines a recovery as someone who has not exhibited any COVID-19 symptoms for at least 14 days.

County Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the average positivity rate for those screened for the virus countywide is at 20%, more than double the preferred state threshold of 8%.

“The high positivity rate is something we continue to watch,” Saruwatari said.

She said the doubling time — or the number of days in which documented virus cases increase 100% — is at 23.7 days. A doubling rate of seven days is considered severe.

According to Saruwatari, there have been notable “shifts” in infections impacting different age groups. One was the 18-39 year-old block, which in May comprised 36% of both symptomatic and asymptomatic diagnoses.

Saruwatari said the group made up 47% of cases in June.  

“The shift to a younger age group is concerning to us,” she said, urging all residents to take precautions to safeguard against exposure.

Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton told the board last week that of the county’s 17 hospitals, six are operating at maximum capacity. But they are “not overwhelmed” because all the medical facilities are able to add spare cushion on short notice, exceeding licensed capacities by 30% if necessary, as happened during the 2017 flu outbreak, he said.

City News Service contributed to this report. 

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at