COVID-19: Riverside County still seeing rising case rates, hospitalizations

·3 min read
Map of the United States showing the COVID-19 Community Levels by county, as of May 20, 2022.
Map of the United States showing the COVID-19 Community Levels by county, as of May 20, 2022.

Since seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 cases following a streak of music festivals in the Coachella Valley, Riverside County is still experiencing higher case rates compared with earlier this month. Relative to some other areas of the U.S., however, the county remains classified as have a low rate of spread.

Riverside County added 1,332 new COVID-19 cases between Tuesday and Friday — a decrease of nearly 24% compared with the number of new cases reported the previous weekend. The total number of new cases added over the seven-day period, however, is an increase of 16.6%, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Compared with earlier this month when the county reported 751 new cases May 3 to May 6, this latest update is an increase of 77%.

There were 80 reported hospitalizations as of Friday, up from 71 patients on Tuesday and a 29% increase compared to the previous week. Five people were in intensive care units — one fewer than earlier in the week.

Riverside County added three deaths between Tuesday and Friday, bringing the total to 6,532 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

The county's case rate on Tuesday was 12.6 per 100,000, and the positivity rate was 6.2%. The rates are similar to those seen in early December prior to the area's omicron variant winter surge.

The nine Coachella Valley cities added 637 new COVID-19 cases in the week ending Tuesday. That's an increase of 14% from the week prior, which reported 558 cases between May 3 and 10.

Here is a full breakdown of confirmed total cases, deaths and recoveries by city since the start of the pandemic (with weekly changes shown in parentheses):

  • Cathedral City: 12,481 confirmed cases (+88), 150 deaths (+0), 12,238 recoveries (+54)

  • Coachella: 12,971 confirmed cases (+65), 121 deaths (+0), 12,785 recoveries (+43)

  • Desert Hot Springs: 7,804 confirmed cases (+33), 99 deaths (+0), 7,672 recoveries (+22)

  • Indian Wells: 617 confirmed cases (+8), 8 deaths (+0), 598 recoveries (+8)

  • Indio: 22,664 confirmed cases (+144), 280 deaths (+0), 22,229 recoveries (+102)

  • La Quinta: 8,054 confirmed cases (+81), 82 deaths (+0), 7,888 recoveries (+70)

  • Palm Desert: 9,417 confirmed cases (+88), 148 deaths (+0), 9,176 recoveries (+85)

  • Palm Springs: 8,009 confirmed cases (+82), 156 deaths (+0), 7,760 recoveries (+61)

  • Rancho Mirage: 2,692 confirmed cases (+48), 56 deaths (+0), 2,593 recoveries (+50)

Boosters available for some children, adults

Children between the ages of 5 and 11 are eligible for a first booster dose five months after completing their first series of shots. The Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 booster shot for the age group on Tuesday.

Fully vaccinated adults age 50 and older, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who've already received one booster shot are eligible for a second. People 12 and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are also eligible.

Newsom received his on Wednesday.

The CDC has given examples of who may fall into the latter category and it includes those who are being treated for tumors or cancers of the blood, received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system, or live with a moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency, an advanced or untreated HIV infection.

The U.S. surpassed 1 million COVID-19-related deaths on Tuesday. More than 90,000 people have died in California alone.

Opinion: 10 million Americans are immunocompromised. Please wear a mask for us

Just over half of the U.S. population is experiencing low COVID-19 community levels while many areas have moved into medium and high levels, according to the CDC. Riverside County is currently considered "low."

Vaccinations, masks and testing are recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The U.S. government is mailing out additional at-home COVID-19 tests free through the U.S. Postal Service. Every home is eligible to receive the latest batch, which include eight tests. To order, visit covid.gov/tests.

Maria Sestito covers issues of aging in the Coachella Valley. She is also a Report for America corps member. Follow her on Twitter @RiaSestito, on Instagram @RiaSestito_Reporter or email her at maria.sestito@desertsun.com.

Previous reporting by Ema Sasic, Desert Sun health reporter, and reporters from the USA Today Network. 

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: COVID-19: Riverside County still seeing rising case rates, hospitalizations