Riverside County Sees 18% Increase in COVID-19 Hospitalizations

City News Service

Riverside County health officials reported an 18% increase in coronavirus hospitalizations Tuesday, but a state data glitch interfered with the release of additional figures.

The number of patients infected with COVID-19 countywide increased by 52 on Tuesday to 340, according to the Riverside University Health System. That figure includes one additional ICU patient, for a total of 74.

RUHS spokesman Jose Arballo said county health officials could not access state data in order to retrieve the current number of cases and deaths countywide, though specifics were not provided.

As of Monday, the number of COVID-19 cases recorded since the public health documentation period began in March 2020 was 309,217, according to the RUHS, which also reported 4,667 deaths.

The number of known active virus cases was 4,163 as of Monday. The active count is derived by subtracting deaths and recoveries from the current total, according to the county Executive Office. Verified patient recoveries countywide were 300,387.

The number of people being treated in hospitals for COVID-19 remains “far below” the level seen during the winter virus surge, county Public Health Officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung said at last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

The increase in new COVID-19 cases mirrors the nationwide surge, with federal health officials blaming the highly infectious Delta strain of the virus first detected in India.

When asked about a possible culprit for the sudden increase in cases in Riverside County, Leung theorized that the jump could be linked to the relaxation of state lockdown measures in June.

Officials say the Delta variant is highly contagious, spreading more easily from person to person. State health officials reiterated Monday that the variant is preying on the unvaccinated population, which has an infection rate nearly seven times higher than that of vaccinated residents.

According to RUHS, 57.9% of county residents 12 and older have received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot, and 50% have been fully vaccinated.

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