RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) – Coronavirus cases in Riverside County are likely to double every four to five days, the University of Riverside Health System estimated Thursday.
Coronavirus-related deaths could rise to 125 times the current number in the next month, according to RUHS.
"We are trying to change the curve and reduce the infection rate," said Dr. Geoffrey Leung of RUHS during a press conference at the county Emergency Operations Center in downtown Riverside. "But … if we stay at the same doubling rate, (in early May) we could have more than 1,000 deaths and 50,000 new cases."
Leung said he based his estimates on local approximations and national trends.
"By April 12, all hospital beds (in the county) will be exhausted, and if we maintain the same doubling rate, we will run out of fans in the period from April 22 to May 5," he said. Leung.
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As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 107 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and eight virus-related deaths in Riverside County. More than 3,000 residents have been screened for coronaviruses, and the local death rate is around one percent, authorities said.
Keeping hope, Leung referred to a rapid slowdown in the infection rate in New Rochelle, New York, where a significant group of COVID-19 infections was documented two weeks ago. After closely monitored isolation measures were implemented, the rate dropped dramatically.
"They extended the doubling time by two weeks," said Leung. "If you all do your best, together we can get through this."
Dr. Cameron Kaiser, county public health officer, would not give a specific number of COVID-19 patients who have recovered. He said that while a person's symptoms may decrease, viral transmission can continue "over a long period of time."
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"We are trying to make sure that the first cases meet the criteria,quot; for classification as recovered, he said.
On Wednesday, the California National Guard began establishing a temporary hospital at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio in anticipation of an increase in COVID-19 cases.
The federal medical station includes all the necessary equipment for a hospital: beds, sheets, portable toilets, medications, and 740 complete units of personal protective equipment, including N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, gowns, and face shields.
Half of the materials will be used to establish a station in the existing buildings in the fairgrounds. The remaining materials will be used to establish an identical 125-bed facility in western Riverside County. The site for the secondary location was not immediately disclosed.
(© Copyright 2020 Up News Info Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)