RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County’s coronavirus count stood at 4,756 cases today and 192 fatalities.
Health officials Thursday reported a half-dozen new coronavirus deaths and 84 new confirmed cases. Riverside County continues to have the second-highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in the state, behind only Los Angeles County.
Of the 196 Riverside County residents who are hospitalized with COVID-19, 81 are being treated in intensive care units, three fewer than Wednesday, according to the Riverside University Health System.
The number of documented recoveries stands at 2,217, up 192 from Wednesday.
Nearly 65,000 Riverside County residents have been tested for the virus, which accounts for slightly more than 2% of the county’s population of nearly 2.5 million.
Eight new state-funded coronavirus testing sites opened this week throughout the county, with the combined capacity to test an additional 1,000 people per day. Free testing for all residents regardless of symptoms will be administered at the new locations by OptumServe, a private company.
Four drive-up testing sites run by county public health officials in Perris, Indio, Riverside and Lake Elsinore remain operational.
In another coronavirus-related development, the Desert Healthcare District Thursday announced a donation of 2,000 protective face shields to health care workers around the Coachella Valley working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regional facilities set to receive the equipment include a coronavirus testing site at 85365 Dillon Road run by Borrego Health, which operates on property owned by the Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians near Spotlight Casino in Coachella.
A 9 a.m. event is scheduled at the site, where Desert Healthcare District & Foundation CEO Conrado Barzaga will deliver the first batch of face shields.
Other facilities set to receive equipment donated by the district are the three area hospitals: Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage and JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio, the district said, along with Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs, Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo and Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine in Indio.
The plastic shields were created and donated by Carbon, a 3D-printing company based in the Bay Area. The donated masks were funded, at least in part, by a grant from Adidas, the district said.
Riverside Public Utilities, meanwhile, unveiled a program under which Riverside residents financially impacted by the public health orders that stopped some workforce activity amid the coronavirus emergency may be eligible for credits on their utility bills. The Riverside City Council on Tuesday voted to allow Riverside Public Utilities to develop a relief pathway for residents, and the result is the COVID-19 Emergency Recovery Assistance Program, or ERAP.
Under the program, $5 million in the city’s budget will be designated for credits on customers’ bills. Officials said a one-time $250 reduction per qualifying customer will be available. Outright bill forgiveness is not permitted under state law, officials said.