RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — Riverside County surpassed 1,000 coronavirus cases Tuesday.

Health officials reported 70 new cases and three more coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the totals to 1,016 cases and 28 fatalities.

The number of recovered patients increased by seven, to 67.

As federal, state, and local officials warn of an upcoming surge in cases and deaths, Dr. Geoffrey Leung of the Riverside University Health System said Friday that could mean as many as 65,000 cases, 11,000 hospitalizations, and 1,000 deaths by the beginning of May in Riverside County.

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There are many ways to continue to help flatten that curve, Leung said. Staying home and frequent hand washing are still recommended, along with wearing face coverings and enforcing local gathering orders.

Riverside County is working to increase COVID-19 testing as well, Leung said.

“If we can do one of these things well … we believe we can decrease the number of cases and deaths by 50%. If we can do three of these things well, we believe we can decrease the hospitalizations, the cases and the deaths by 75%, saving nearly 700 or 800 lives or more,” Leung said, “but we have to do them well, and we have to do them now.”

Riverside County has issued orders making it mandatory for anyone leaving home to wear a face covering and barring all outside gatherings, except for those between people who live together.

Law enforcement agencies will enforce the orders “as they deem necessary,” officials said. Sheriff Chad Bianco said Monday that his department would not ticket residents who defy the directives.

On Monday, county health officials said there may be an undercount in coronavirus-related deaths, noting that the six fatalities reported that day were confirmed post-mortem and previous deaths continue to be reviewed for possible COVID-19 connections.

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


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