County on State’s Coronavirus Watch List

County on State’s Coronavirus Watch List

Kitty Alvarado Connect

Accelerated re opening in Riverside County is also accelerating COVID-19 numbers. The county is now on the state’s watch list, after having almost 10 percent positive rate. The state is watching the county’s numbers closer and is in discussion with the county.

“Our positivity rate has increased and the state has engaged with us and talked to us about that we believe that some of the reason for that is a result of larger outbreaks that we’ve seen at a state prison Chuckawalla,” says Brooke Federico, Riverside County’s Public Information officer.

While positive cases fluctuate sometimes exceeding the 8 percent threshold for accelerated reopening, the county says the state is looking at another number: hospital capacity.

 “We have not reached capacity in our hospitals,” says Federico.

But hospitalizations are up. Countywide they’re up 10.9 percent from the previous day (6/17) and a 4.7 percent increase in ICU patients.

Desert Regional Medical Center and JFK Memorial are reporting higher rates since the May 1, 2020 re opening.

Dr. Euthym Kontaxis, Medical Director for Tennity Emergency Department Medicine at Eisenhower Health says they’re seeing an up tick too.

“It’s gone up from about 18 to 20 patients to about 47 patients maybe 50 now,  we’re seeing though less patients in the ICU,” says Kontaxis.

He says they’ve learned a lot about coronavirus in the last few months and treatments are getting better but there’s still a lot of unknowns.

“Some people have absolutely no symptoms and some people have these really horrific reactions to the virus and so I think as a caregiver we look at that and say, ‘wow’,” he says.

De. Kontaxis says we can avoid getting the virus and reverse the trend by hand washing, physical distancing and following the new state’s mask requirement, “Not only to protect yourself but to protect others and it also I think gives us a sense of community spirit where we’re all trying to take care of each other.”


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