The coronavirus testing site in Indio, located at the Riverside County Fairgrounds, saw an influx of people waiting to be tested Wednesday morning.
This comes after Riverside County health officials reported 409 newly confirmed coronavirus cases Tuesday — the largest one-day increase since the start of the pandemic — 11 additional fatalities and “a rapid rise in hospitalizations.”
Infections countywide now stand at 11,694, with 395 deaths attributed to COVID-19, according to the Riverside University Health System.
The number of hospitalized patients went up by nine from Monday, to 237, though the number being treated in ICU units — 65 — was down by five from the previous day.
The county has documented 65 recoveries this week, bringing the total to 6,165. More than 159,000 tests have been administered countywide.
Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage reported this week it has seen a near quadrupling of COVID-19 hospitalizations since late May, when the county got permission from the state to move into an “accelerated” stage 2 allowing for more business reopenings.
Nearly three weeks ago, Eisenhower Health had 12 patients being treated for coronavirus complications. Last Wednesday, there were 45 COVID-19 patients at the hospital — the highest number Eisenhower Health has reported since the pandemic began. The number was down to 41 as of Monday.
Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, who is an emergency room physician, said in a Facebook posting on Monday that Eisenhower Health’s data “demonstrates a rapid rise in hospitalizations.”
“People are getting sick. All of us have a role to play in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Please wash your hands regularly, wear a mask in public near people, keep your distance, and follow other recommendations from the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),” he wrote.
Riverside County — which rescinded its mandatory mask mandate — has moved into the first half of stage 3 under the state’s four-stage public health de-regulation plan, permitting more private sector interests to resume operations following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s March 19 shutdowns for COVID-19 mitigation.
Motels, gyms, bars, museums, theaters and wineries are among the entities that were given the green light to reopen under public health guidelines that encourage social distancing, caps on the size of gatherings and repetitive sanitation of spaces.
“We have long looked forward to reopening more Riverside County businesses, which provide valuable goods, services and jobs vital to the fabric of our economy,” county Supervisor Karen Spiegel said late last week. “It’s very important that while visiting these businesses, all residents continue to do their part to slow the spread of the disease by wearing face coverings and maintaining six feet from others.”
Personal care businesses, including nail salons, as well as sporting venues and libraries, are still prohibited from resuming operations. However, day camps for children were among the facilities given the approval to reopen.
Information from: City News Service