County health officials remember lives lost during COVID-19 pandemic

As 2020 came to a close, Riverside County health officials remembered the lives lost during the pandemic and reminded residents that, collectively, everyone contributes to slowing the spread of the virus. The virus has caused or contributed to the deaths of hundreds of Riverside County residents, including two children under the age of 18.

The first coronavirus-related death in Riverside County was reported March 15 – an Indio resident in his late 70s. The two youngest deaths include a 12-year-old from Western Riverside County and a 15-year-old from Central Riverside County.

The oldest deaths were found in three 104-year-old Riverside County residents, including a man from Corona, a man from Riverside and a female from Mecca.

Four county employees have died from the virus, including two deputies, one probation officer, and one engineer.

“This disease doesn’t discriminate. We’ve seen deaths in the young and old. We’ve seen couples, family members, and healthcare workers die from this disease,” said Director Kim Saruwatari of the Riverside University Health System-Public Health. “These deaths, combined with mental health impacts and economic losses, are painful reminders of how this disease has cost all of us.”

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases is more than 180,550 in Riverside County and more than 118,800 have recovered from the virus. Riverside County is currently experiencing a surge of cases requiring hospitalization and intensive care unit treatment (ICU). COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization is at 1,464, of which 296 are in an ICU. The positivity rate in Riverside County is 22.6 percent and the daily case rate is 140.5 new cases per 100,000 residents, according to county health officials.

“Our hearts are with families, friends, and neighbors who are grieving the loss of an important and special person in their lives,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “After a year of tragedy and hardship, we have hope for a better We remember and honor all Riverside County residents who have passed away from coronavirus this year, and thank all the front line workers and all who are doing their part to help overcome this pandemic.”


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