Riverside County announces more drive-up testing as 4th person dies from coronavirus

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A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

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A fourth person has died from the coronavirus in Riverside County, public health officials announced Friday morning as they prepared to test more people for the illness at a drive-up site this weekend.

A total of 22 people have been sickened by COVID-19 in the county, according to the Riverside University Health System.

Of those cases, four were travel-related while the other 18 were acquired locally, health officials said.

The majority of the novel coronavirus cases have been reported in the Coachella Valley, where at least three patients have died. Officials did not immediately provide any information about the fourth patient to succumb to the virus.

The latest six cases were announced Thursday and included a woman in her 30s who worked as a contracted vendor at the 99-bed Rancho Mirage Health and Rehabilitation Center.

She’s the second patient tied to the facility; the first was an unidentified resident at the center who was among the county’s first three deaths.

Riverside County has recently ramped up testing and is encouraging residents who show symptoms — particularly those in the Coachella Valley — to get tested. A drive-up testing center has been set up outside Southwest Church, located at 44175 Washington St. in Indian Wells, public health officials said in the release.

Testing goes from 9:30 a.m to 3 p.m. Friday, but is still by appointment only; people are being told not just show up at the location as they will be turned away if they don’t have one.

It’s unclear how long the testing site will be there.

In western Riverside County, which has seen at least two confirmed cases, residents will be able to get tested at a drive-up site this weekend (March 21 and 22) at Diamond Stadium, located at 500 Diamond Drive in Lake Elsinore this weekend.

Testing runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in parking lot C and is also by appointment only.

Those who want to get tested at either site must call 800-945-6171 to request and schedule an appointment. Anyone without an appointment will not get tested, officials emphasized.

Symptoms of coronavirus include fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose or congestion. Additionally, those who have risk of exposure from contact with a confirmed case or anyone who has traveled to an affected area can also get a test.

“Just as we demonstrated during the Holy Fire, the Holy Floods and the Super Bloom, now is the time to take this situation seriously and to unite and support one another to overcome this latest crisis,” Lake Elsinore Mayor Brian Tisdale said in a a news release. “This is going to take extreme measures, and it is our turn to step in and offer our support to ensure a coordinated and collaborative approach to best serve and protect all of Riverside County.”

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