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Riverside County intensive care unit beds nearly hit capacity Sunday, when patients occupied 99% of the normal number of beds. Suspected and confirmed coronavirus patients account for about 35% of those beds, said Riverside spokeswoman Brooke Federico.

The shortage prompted a local member of Congress, a medical doctor, to call for the county to act immediately.

“I am calling on the County to immediately reverse their decision to rescind public health safety measures and reinstate their order to wear masks in public and to transparently communicate their social distancing and stay at home surge intervention plans and enforcement mechanisms,” U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz, (D-Palm Desert) said in an email.

Local health authorities said the official numbers on bed capacity paint a misleadingly bleak picture.

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