A brief decline in the number of people in hospitals with COVID-19 reversed on Friday, June 26, as a record 318 people were hospitalized with the disease, including 105 in intensive care, according to the county public health panel.
Hospitalizations, which only include confirmed cases of COVID-19, occur when the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased from 501 to 15,643. The number of deaths attributed to the disease increased by three compared to the previous day and now reaches 438.
The county has processed 209,556 tests and reports that 7,383 have recovered after testing positive for the coronavirus.
There are now 9% more COVID patients hospitalized and 38% more in the ICU than a week ago.
The number of people hospitalized with the disease remained relatively stable until May, with 195 people in the hospital on June 1. The count has increased 63% since the month began. That includes 10 people from Imperial County, county documents show.
The county reached its previous peak of 315 hospitalizations on Tuesday, June 23. The number decreased for two days, falling to 311, before increasing by seven in statistics released on Friday.
Hospitals were using 94% of their intensive care beds, including patients who tested positive for coronavirus and patients who did not, compared to 86.5% two weeks ago, according to a county graph based on information from the Wednesday, June 24.
In neighboring San Bernardino County, county officials said during a press conference on Friday that hospital executive directors are “eager” that they will soon have to use additional hospital beds prepared for a surge in COVID patients- 19.
Riverside officials are monitoring the increasing number of hospitalizations, but so far, hospitals have enough regular beds, county spokeswoman Brooke Federico said.
Some have begun using capacity increase beds installed within the hospital in preparation for the increase in COVID-19 numbers. As additional support, the county has field hospital teams in case the hospitals’ capacity is exceeded, but so far they have not been needed, he said.
“As a general system, we are seeing an increase, but we are within our capacity,” he said.
A fourth city in Riverside County has now had at least 1,000 residents tested positive for the coronavirus: Coachella, which has exactly 1,000 cases. Indio has had 1,190; Moreno Valley has 1,349 and Riverside has 2,258.
The county remains on the state’s coronavirus watch list.
See a list of community-by-community cases here.
Writer Nikie Johnson contributed to this report.