Nine more people died Monday in Riverside County of complications from the coronavirus, the largest number of deaths reported in a single day in the county since the pandemic began, health officials said.
An additional 132 people tested positive for COVID-19, a day after the county recorded the biggest jump in its number of confirmed cases.
The new deaths bring the county’s toll to 50. Two of the victims were from Palm Desert, two from Riverside, two from Moreno Valley and one each from Cherry Valley, Wildomar and Hemet, according to Brooke Federico, the county’s public information officer.
Riverside County has 1,751 people who have tested positive for the illness, including 297 who have recovered. The county now has the third-largest number of COVID-19 cases in the state, behind San Diego (1,847) and Los Angeles (9,480), records show. Last week, Riverside County ranked fourth.
Riverside County medical personnel help each other with their protective gear at a drive-though coronavirus testing facility for Coachella Valley residents in Indian Wells on March 24. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Medical staff carry patients’ belongings during evacuation at the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, where 39 people tested positive for the coronavirus, on April 7. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Gurpreet Singh, left, and Balwinder Sidhu deliver meal boxes at a food distribution organized by United Sikh Mission and the Sikh Community of Riverside at Sikh Gurdwara. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)
Patients are removed from the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside on April 7 after five employees and 34 patients tested positive for the coronavirus and staff failed to show up to work. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Erick Borjas uses an electrostatic disinfectant to clean the surgical ward of a medical facility in Riverside County on April 15. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Protesters who want the public health orders rescinded, rally at the County Administrative Center where the Riverside County Board of Supervisors were meeting in Riverside. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Residents who want public health orders rescinded attend an emergency meeting of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors at the County Administrative Center in Riverside. Type written notes are placed on chairs to keep people from sitting near each other. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Traveling nurse Gail Cunningham waves thanks as residents pay tribute to her and her medical personnel during a drive-by rally honoring frontline heroes at the Emergency Room entrance to Riverside University Health System in Moreno Valley. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Jesus Duenas practices his slack lining while his brother Alfred Duenas, left, does strength exercises at Fairmount Park in Riverside. They live together and said the trees help keep them 6-feet apart from anyone walking by. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Javon Jones of the Antioch Church sings gospel hymns during a livestreamed Easter worship on Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside. For only the third time in 111 years, Easter service atop Mt. Rubidoux was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 27, 2020: Norm and Tracy Kahn enjoy eating dinner outside on a small cafe table sitting in blue chairs on their side yard during the coronavirus pandemic on April 27, 2020 in Riverside, California. ‘During this pandemic, eating outside offers us an opportunity to change surrounding and appreciate the calmness of being outdoors among trees, scents from nature and the sounds of birds, “ she said. Also adding, “Mixing up where we eat puts variety into our days and takes away the sameness of feeling trapped at home.” (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times) (Gina Ferazzi/Gina Ferazzi/Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Small business owner Ana Lee of Riverside created “Community Over Covid” posters for neighbors to place of their front lawns during the coronavirus pandemic. “I thought it would be uplifting,” she said on April 10. “With so many people home and taking walks in their own neighborhoods but not being able to be physically proximate to other families, the signs are a visual reminder, that neighborly wave, that we are a strong community.” (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Neighbors gather to sing “Amazing Grace” on Easter Sunday on Emerson Street, a quiet cul-de-sac in Riverside, whose mayor, Rusty Bailey, had asked residents to come out of their homes to sing at noon. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
The Stowe family in Riverside held a role-reversal prom after a nephew’s prom was canceled because of the coronavirus. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
After celebrating their nephew’s canceled prom via a video feed, the Stowe family greets neighbors in Riverside while practicing social distancing. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
At least 30 patients and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Extended Care Hospital of Riverside, a skilled nursing facility. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
A Palm Springs resident finds the serenity of a closed golf course the perfect place for afternoon reading during the coronavirus pandemic at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort in Palm Springs. All the golf courses are closed in the desert communities. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Shopping carts block off the parking area in front of a Best Buy store in Rancho Mirage that was open for curbside pickup only during the coronavirus pandemic on April 2. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Restaurant owner Lisa Weaver takes a to-go order from a resident at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit during the coronavirus pandemic on April 3 in Rancho Mirage. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Adeline Hernandez, 2, of Riverside seems perplexed by the yellow caution tape as she approaches the closed-off swing sets at Ryan Bonaminio Park in Riverside on April 3. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Wearing a cat mask, Chani Beeman of Riverside shows off a roll of toilet paper she got as a bonus with her takeout order from Mario’s Place in downtown Riverside on April 3. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Freddy Torres of Buena Park gets some target practice in at Riverside Indoor Shooting Range on March 31. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Customers wait in line to buy guns at Warrior One Guns and Ammo during the coronavirus pandemic in Riverside on March 31. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
More than 18,000 people have been tested at three county facilities, officials said. That figure does not include tests conducted by private physicians or labs.
In an effort to boost the number of those being tested, health officials opened a fourth drive-through testing site Tuesday at the Perris Fairgrounds. The facility will be open 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Like other testing locations, an appointment is required. To schedule one, call (800) 945-6171.
“As this pandemic progresses, knowledge is power. The more testing and data we have, the quicker we can get control of this virus and get back to business,” said Jeff Hewitt, the supervisor of the county’s fifth district. “This gives us a crucial mid-county location, and I am very happy to see it open up.”
Also beginning Tuesday, four specialized teams will begin visiting licensed care facilities, including nursing homes, throughout the county. The teams consist of members from the American Medical Response and other healthcare partners who could be involved in patient care, officials said.
The teams will ensure that medical workers have the equipment and resources they need to do their job safely. Officials said they want to prevent situations like the one that occurred at the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center last week, where several employees stopped showing up for work and the facility had be to be evacuated.
“There has been so much incorrect information that has spread that many employees in these facilities are scared to show up for work,” said Kim Saruwatari, the county’s director of public health. “By providing these employees with accurate information about how COVID-19 is and is not spread, they will be confident when they report to work.”
The teams will target specific regions in the county and work with staff at each facility to “demonstrate proper safety techniques, provide proper safety gear and educate them about COVID-19 to dispel rumors and correct erroneous information,” officials said.
Nearly 2,000 people have volunteered with the county’s COVID-19 response, with about half assisting with medical duties. Opportunities vary, with some paid openings available, officials said. For more information on volunteer opportunities, visit the county’s website or call (951) 955-9227.