COVID infections increase countywide, along with hospitalizations

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The number of coronavirus cases in Riverside County increased by 433, with a slight elevation in virus-related hospitalizations and deaths reported Friday, Nov. 20.
The aggregate number of infections recorded countywide since the public health documentation period began in early March was at 78,442 on Friday, compared to 78,009 on Thursday, according to the Riverside University Health System.
Officials said the number of deaths stemming from complications related to COVID-19 stands at 1,400, on Friday, up four from a day earlier.
The number of COVID-positive hospitalizations was at 375 on Friday, compared to 362 on Thursday, including 99 intensive care unit patients, 14 more than the day before, RUHS figures showed.
County Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton said during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting that the rise in COVID-19 caseloads has not overwhelmed area hospitals, which continue to operate with excess bed capacity.
“The good news is, there has been a lot of surge planning,” Barton said. “This is familiar territory for the hospitals. They have processes and procedures in place.”
He said individuals with a critical medical need of any kind should not hesitate to visit medical facilities, because they “are still safe” thanks to triaging that separates potentially contagious people from those who aren’t.
The county’s peak in hospitalizations occurred in mid-July, when nearly 600 COVID-positive patients were under general or intensive care.
The number of known active virus cases countywide was at 11,429 on Friday, an increase of 243 compared to Thursday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 78,442 — according to the County Executive Office. The number of verified patient recoveries is 65,613.