Coronavirus Cases, Hospitalizations, News In Riverside County

Toni McAllister

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA — After a record number of new coronavirus cases was reported Tuesday in Riverside County, Wednesday's figures were not as steep.

New coronavirus cases were reported at 474 on Wednesday by Riverside University Public Health System, bringing the total number to 14,905 — with 7,154 of those individuals having recovered from the illness.

On Tuesday, 631 new cases were reported countywide, and Monday's figures came in at 1,022 for the two-day weekend reporting period.

Wednesday saw another death in the county, bringing the toll to 432.

Hospitalizations remained nearly flat Wednesday, with 314 patients being treated countywide, 92 of them in ICU. According to the most recent figures from RUHS dated June 23, only eight patients from outside the county are hospitalized locally, and they are all from Imperial County. Another 21 patients are from correctional facilities, the data show.

Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe has been contributing to Riverside County's COVID-19 caseload, but the outbreak there may be slowing. On June 16, 989 cases were reported at the facility. As of Wednesday, the figure stands at 1,012, with 525 of those inmates having recovered from the illness. Over the last 14 days, only 19 new COVID-19 cases have been reported among inmates there, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation data show.

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom warned that several counties, including Riverside, are being monitored by the state due to concerns of escalating community spread of the virus.

"If progress is not made, the county may make additional recommendations or requirements. The state may also choose to make local recommendations or requirements, as well," county spokesperson Brooke Federico told City News Service on Tuesday.

Nearby Los Angeles County is also on the state's watchlist, and earlier this week health officials there warned that Angelenos can expect to come into contact with infectious people routinely while out and about.

Los Angeles County Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said Monday an analysis of case figures and estimates found that roughly one in every 400 Los Angeles County residents is currently "infectious," meaning they have the virus but are not showing symptoms and have not been formally diagnosed, and thus are not hospitalized or in isolation. Factoring in a margin of error, that number of infectious people could actually range from one in every 200 residents to one in every 750 residents.

"What this means is that Angelenos over the course of a typical day are likely going to interact with a number of people who are potentially infectious," Ghaly said.

Other Southern California counties on the state's watchlist are San Bernardino and Imperial counties.

State and local officials continue to ask all residents to get tested for COVID-19. As of Wednesday, 196,442 tests had been conducted in Riverside County, an uptick of 2,488 tests since the previous reporting day. More information on free COVID-19 testing can be found here.

In addition to ongoing viral testing for active infections, it was announced Monday that thousands of Riverside County residents will soon be contacted and asked to take part in a coronavirus antibody testing study being sponsored by county health officials.

About 3,500 randomly selected county residents will be asked if they are interested in taking part in the study, which could determine whether they have been exposed and developed COVID-19 antibodies. The study will help determine the Riverside County prevalence of COVID-19, which will be used to inform planning efforts, the county said.

Potential participants will be contacted by telephone or email starting this week. Read more here.

This article originally appeared on the Banning-Beaumont Patch