RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA — Riverside County had another new high in the number of coronavirus cases reported over a 24-hour period.
On Tuesday, Riverside County University Health posted 631 new cases, bringing the total to 14,431 countywide. The infections include 7,009 people who have recovered from the virus.
Hospitalizations also increased Tuesday by 17 patients to a total of 315. Of those receiving hospital care, 90 patients are in ICU — an increase of three since Monday.
The number of new cases and hospitalizations in Riverside County has steadily climbed since June 9, setting several daily records along the way. Nearly 5,000 new cases have been diagnosed over the last two weeks — up from 9,590 on June 9.
The number of people hospitalized two weeks ago stood at 220 patients. Tuesday's figures show a jump of nearly 100 patients.
Tuesday's death toll was reported at 431, an increase of seven people since Monday. Over the last 14 days, 66 Riverside County residents have died from COVID-19 complications, according to the figures.
The number of people tested for the virus was reported at 193,954 on Tuesday. On June 9, the figure stood at 140,709 tests administered.
The county's positivity rate was at 9% on Monday, according to Riverside University Public Health spokesman Jose Arballo Jr. The rate is above the state's threshold of 8%.
The uptick in positivity rate and hospitalizations have put Riverside County on a state watchlist. San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Imperial, Santa Barbara, Kern, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin counties are also on the list.
"The county continuously pores over the data of local coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Being on the [watchlist] means that the county will closely discuss data with the state and potential driving factors," Riverside County spokeswoman Brooke Federico told City News Service on Tuesday.
"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," Federico said.
Riverside County is experiencing elevated disease transmission due to outbreaks at state prisons and skilled nursing facilities, recent public protests involving large numbers of people without face coverings, patient transfers from Imperial County and Northern Baja California and general increases in local gatherings, according to the California Department of Public Health.
In an effort to track the virus, 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, it was announced Monday.
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 later this week. Read more here.