Riverside County virus cases jump to 22, including 2nd patient tied to Rancho Mirage nursing home

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Motorists travel on Interstate 8 in San Diego as a sign encourages hand washing on March 15, 2020. (Credit: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

Motorists travel on Interstate 8 in San Diego as a sign encourages hand washing on March 15, 2020. (Credit: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

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Another six cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Riverside County Thursday, bringing the total there to 22, health officials announced.

Among the newly confirmed cases is a woman in her 30s who worked at the 99-bed Rancho Mirage Health and Rehabilitation Center as a contracted vendor. She’s the second patient tied to the facility, after a resident was hospitalized and tested positive last week, according to Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health officer.

The first woman hospitalized is among the three people who died from the disease in Riverside County this week, Kaiser said.

All 140 employees and vendors and 94 residents at the nursing home have been tested, but health officials are still waiting on full results.

“Unfortunately, as testing expands, so will the number of positive cases,” Kaiser said in a statement. “We are working diligently to ensure those who may have been exposed are taken care of, but we know COVID-19 is present in the community, and there will be more cases.”

Officials say the woman in her 30s is “in good spirits” and expected to fully recover.

Thirteen of the county’s patients are in the Coachella Valley, four in western Riverside County and three in the southwestern county.

The final two are Riverside County residents who contracted the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise. Kaiser had earlier said the pair were being treated in Northern California; it’s unclear whether they’ve since returned.

This Saturday and Sunday, residents who have symptoms of COVID-19 — such as a fever, trouble breathing and dry cough — will be able to visit a drive-thru testing site at Lake Elsinore’s The Diamond stadium. Those interested must call 800-945-6171 ahead of time to schedule a visit.

The county has limited all businesses to an occupancy of 10 or fewer people and said all residents must stay 6 feet away from each other through April 30. All schools will be closed until at least the end of April.

On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all Californians to stay at home and venture out only for specific items as the state works to minimize the virus’ strain on hospitals.

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