3rd person dies of COVID-19 in Riverside County; 2 new patients confirmed

Coronavirus
This transmission electron microscope image shows the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML)

This transmission electron microscope image shows the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML)

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Public health officials announced a third death connected to COVID-19 in the Coachella Valley Tuesday.

Two new coronavirus patients were also confirmed Tuesday in the western part of Riverside County, according to Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser. They are the first reported cases in that part of the county.

“We knew getting west county cases was an inevitability,” Kaiser said in a press release.

The announcements come just a day after two other people in Riverside County died from the illness, marking the first deaths from the virus in the county.

No information about the patients who died, including their ages, was released.

Riverside County currently has 16 coronavirus cases, most of which are in the Coachella Valley, officials said.

Health officials said they expect the number to grow once they are able to increase testing.

“The county’s public health lab is now operational, meaning local officials will not have to send testing samples to the state lab in Northern California or neighboring San Bernardino County,” the Riverside University Health System Public Health said in a statement Friday.

Kaiser issued a health order Monday to reduce the maximum number of gatherings from 250 people to 10 people in response to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The disease curve must be flattened, and that’s why we’re already intervening as early as possible so that our vulnerable residents are protected,” Kaiser said.

All Riverside County school have been ordered to close through April 30.

Kaiser recommended seniors and those with underlying health conditions avoid unnecessary travel.

Residents can visit the county’s public health website for updated information.

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