Desert Sun: Riverside County sees dramatic increase in COVID-19 deaths; ‘lockdown’ protest in Palm Springs
By: Nicole Hayden, Sam Metz, Colin Atagi and Brian Blueskye, Palm Springs Desert Sun
Riverside County saw a dramatic increase in total fatalities due to COVID-19 on Monday, with public health officials reporting 23 new coronavirus-related deaths after they were able to catch up on days-old records.
The 23 newly reported deaths occurred between April 21 through Monday, said Riverside County spokesman Jose Arballo. A total of 141 people have died due to the virus in the county since the pandemic began.
The county’s total number of cases has doubled over the last two weeks to 3,643, with officials reporting 80 new cases on Monday.
Currently, 215 patients are hospitalized, including 75 in intensive care.
Additionally, Riverside County officials said 1,245 people have recovered and 141 inmates in county jails have tested positive, of whom 95 have recovered.
While the spike in Monday’s death numbers does not have county health officials worried, the continued increase of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes does.
Riverside County health officials have confirmed more than 650 coronavirus cases — 18% of the county’s total number of cases — between patients and staff at assisted living facilities and nursing homes in the county.
The majority of those nursing home cases — 64% — are among 40 of the county’s 53 licensed skilled nursing facilities, which are homes that provide 24/7 nursing assistance typically following a hospitalization discharge or a serious decline in an individual’s health. Typically, individuals in these homes need help moving around and walking.
About 8% of those nursing home cases are at assisted living homes, which are homes for individuals who need less care than a skilled nursing facility but still need help with some daily activities like bathing and medication. Typically, individuals in these homes are mobile.