Overall coronavirus deaths stand at 637 countywide

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – In Riverside County, the tally of known active virus cases countywide stands at 21,125, with the number of deaths due to complications of COVID-19 remaining at 637 after no new deaths were reported at week’s end.

An additional 654 coronavirus infections have been confirmed in Riverside County, according to the Riverside University Health System.

Officials said Friday the aggregate number of COVID-19 diagnoses stretching back to when the documentation period began in early March is now 33,467.

Riverside County coronavirus statistics are released Mondays through Fridays, but not on weekends.

The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total — 33,467 — according to the county Executive Office.

Officials said the number of confirmed patient recoveries is 11,705.

The county defines a recovery as someone who has not manifested symptoms for 14 days.

According to RUHS, 523 people are hospitalized for COVID-19, 11 fewer than Thursday. Hospitalizations include 159 patients in intensive care units.

California now has the most COVID-19 cases in the nation after passing New York Wednesday, though New York has recorded more fatalities.

During a briefing Friday outside the County Administrative Center in downtown Riverside, health officials and representatives from several nonprofits announced a campaign to distribute millions of free masks countywide as part of an accelerated 30-day coronavirus containment strategy.

Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari said the emphasis is on combining the use of masks in certain settings, like crowded places, with frequent handwashing and the now-familiar social distancing.

“Each day, free masks will be handed out at our (coronavirus) testing locations,” Saruwatari said. “It is our priority to protect the health of Riverside County residents.”

She told the Board of Supervisors last week that the average positivity rate among those screened for the virus countywide is at 20%, two and a half times the preferred state threshold of 8%.

The doubling time — or the number of days in which documented virus cases increase 100% — is 26 days. A doubling rate of seven days is considered severe.

Most of the county’s fatalities stemming from complications tied to COVID-19 have been people between the ages of 65 and 84, according to RUHS. The agency said most of the county’s infections are in the 25 to 44 age group.

The county was advancing into Stage 3 of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four- stage deregulation plan for economic recovery when he announced another round of restrictions earlier this month, amid a dramatic rise in infection rates.

Riverside County was among 32 counties that landed on the California Department of Public Health’s monitoring list after patient counts jumped in the latter half of June.