RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County health officials today reported 154 new confirmed coronavirus cases and one additional virus-related death.
The countywide totals stand at 3,563 cases and 118 deaths.
Meanwhile, 1,207 recoveries have been documented, an increase of 74 over Saturday’s numbers.
Overall this weekend, recoveries slightly outstripped the number of new confirmed cases by two, 250 to 248.
The number of inmates in county jails who have been infected remained unchanged from Friday’s numbers at 135, with 94 recoveries.
However, Riverside County sheriff’s officials announced that an inmate who tested positive for coronavirus died Sunday “from what appeared to be complications related to COVID-19.”
The updated coronavirus figures come as the year’s first heat wave continues to bear down on the Inland Empire, raising concerns about those confined indoors without air conditioning.
County health officials eased pool usage guidelines Friday for those seeking relief, allowing swimmers to enjoy private pools, like those at motels, apartment complexes and county clubs.
However, only one swimmer is allowed in the pool at a time under the new rules. Gatherings in pool areas remain barred, unless a parent is watching a child in the pool, officials said.
Officials also urged seniors to remain in their homes with the air conditioning turned up, adding that the Riverside County Office of Aging is prepared to help seniors pay their utility bills.
Seniors lacking air conditioning at home can also call 211 to see if other assistance is available, health officials said.
Riverside County temperatures on Sunday ranged from the high 80s west of the mountains to the low triple digits in the Coachella Valley.
Meteorologists said temperatures will moderate Sunday night through Monday, but another spike into the 90s for most of the region is predicted Tuesday and Wednesday, as a ridge of high pressure builds over the region.
According to the latest figures from the Riverside University Health System, 218 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 countywide as of Sunday afternoon, a decrease of five from Saturday. Of those, 81 were in an intensive care unit.
County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said earlier this week that cases are growing at a much slower rate, telling the Riverside County Board of Supervisors that “targeted” removals of restrictions tied to the COVID-19 emergency may continue in the coming weeks.
Projections by Kaiser and other county health officials earlier this month predicted far broader burdens on health care resources by this point. Earlier statistical modeling showed the possibility of 65,000 infections and 1,000 deaths by the first week of May. But officials altered their predictions Wednesday, saying the county is now expecting one-fifth of those numbers — fewer than 13,000 cases and 200 deaths.
All county residents are eligible for coronavirus screenings if they make appointments over the phone in advance. Tests were previously reserved for symptomatic patients, but county officials said the policy was changed in order to collect more data about the virus’ spread in an effort to pinpoint when containment measures can be eased.
Figures show 41,753 people have been tested at five RUHS-run sites — in Blythe, Indio, Lake Elsinore, Perris and Riverside.