Riverside County reports 92 new COVID-19 deaths

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County Thursday, Jan. 14 logged 92 additional COVID-19 deaths, the largest one-day reported total since the pandemic began.
The newly reported fatalities, which bring the coronavirus death toll to 2,399, all occurred within the last three weeks, according to county Executive Office spokeswoman Brooke Federico.
The previous record was set on Dec. 29, when 73 deaths were reported, a figure that also dated back several weeks due to continued delays processing death certificates.
Health officials also reported 2,880 newly confirmed infections on Thursday. The aggregate number of COVID-19 cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in early March is now 233,480, up from 230,600 on Wednesday, according to the Riverside University Health System.
The RUHS reported 1,584 hospitalizations, down 76 from Wednesday. That figure includes 367 patients in intensive care unit beds, up four from Wednesday.
The number of known active virus cases countywide is 80,355, an increase of 1,748. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total, 233,480. Verified patient recoveries countywide total 150,726.
Meanwhile, people aged 65 and older began getting vaccinated against COVID-19 on Thursday in Riverside County, a day after the state lowered the age requirement in tier 1 of Phase 1B from 75 years old to 65.
Several free vaccine clinics are scheduled over the next week countywide, including three that opened on Thursday, with others slated for the coming days. Additional information can be found at www.ruhealth.org/covid-19-vaccine.
Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that 28,708 people have been vaccinated countywide.
Currently, the list of vaccine providers numbers 146, and Saruwatari said roughly half of those have been supplied with either the Moderna or Pfizer SARS-Cov-2 shots. She said distribution is going at a brisk pace but has not been sufficient to equip all providers.
To date, the county has received 79,875 doses. Another 114,825 should be arriving before the end of the month, the public health director said.
Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton told the board about half of patients in hospitals countywide have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Barton said six facilities are at 100% of licensed bed capacity. However, all hospitals are resorting to surge plans to expand critical care space wherever possible. No patients are being transferred to facilities outside the county because of space limitations.
The county’s overall COVID-19 positive rate is 25.8%, compared to 23.1% last week, based on state-adjusted figures.
The 11-county Southern California region’s ICU availability officially remains at 0%.
The regional ICU bed metric is a key benchmark under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s regional stay-at-home order, which went into effect on Dec. 6. The order was triggered when ICU bed availability across Southern California fell below 15%.
The mandate is expected to remain in effect until bed availabilities recover.
The current stay-at-home order impacts bars, theaters, museums, hair salons, indoor recreational facilities, amusement parks, and wineries — all of which are supposed to remain closed.
Restaurants are confined to takeout and delivery, with capacity limitations on retail outlets.