RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — Health investigators Friday were working to track down patients who might have interacted with a doctor at Riverside Medical Clinic’s Day Street location who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The news came as Riverside County reported 78 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 185. The number of virus-related deaths remained unchanged at eight.

“This is an unfortunate situation and we are taking all steps necessary to protect the patients and staff,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer, said in a statement.

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Anyone who might have come into contact with the physician, including medical staff at the clinic at 6405 Day St. in Riverside, near the Moreno Valley border, was being notified.

County officials said the physician, who was not identified, was expected to recover and those who might have been exposed would be tested Saturday.

Judy Carpenter, president and COO of Riverside Medical Clinic, said the seven locations remain open and the staff was “committed to ensuring that you receive the highest quality of care like we have over the past 85 years. Our patient safety remains our highest priority and we assure you that we have taken every measure to protect you and your family’s health.”

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Riverside County public health officials Friday also shared more detailed information about the location of cases with Riverside, Moreno Valley and Palm Springs among the highest concentrations.

Western Riverside County:

  •   Riverside, 21 cases
  •   Moreno Valley, 20 cases
  •   Temecula, 16 cases
  •   Corona, 12 cases
  •   Murrieta, 11 cases
  •   Eastvale, 11 cases
  •   Beaumont, 5 cases, 1 dead

Coachella Valley:

  •   Palm Springs, 15 cases, 2 dead
  •   Palm Desert, 12 cases, 1 dead
  •   Rancho Mirage, 9 cases, 2 dead
  •   Indio has 8 cases, 2 dead
  •   Desert Hot Springs, 3 cases
  •   Cathedral City, 3 cases

The new data came a day after county public health officials released new estimates indicating coronavirus cases in Riverside County will continue to grow — possibly doubling every four to five days — and deaths stemming from viral complications could rise 125 times the current figure in the next month.

RELATED: Riverside County Coronavirus Cases Likely To Double In Approximately 5 Days, Doctor Says

“I just want to be perfectly honest with you, and very clear with you, that we know that the surge isn’t even here yet,” Supervisor Manuel Perez said Friday on Facebook Live. “The surge is coming, and we anticipate the surge sometime in mid-April up until early May.”

Perez said the numbers would continue to rise as testing capacity increased.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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