LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties all reported additional deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus Tuesday.
Riverside County health officials reported 2,211 newly confirmed cases and 73 additional fatalities, bringing countywide totals to 176,688 cases and 1,943 deaths. Of those who contracted the illness, 113,953 had recovered.
There were a reported 1,448 coronavirus patients hospitalized Tuesday, 287 of whom were being treated in intensive care units.
San Bernardino County health officials reported 6,133 newly confirmed cases and one additional fatality, bringing countywide totals to 191,087 cases and 1,438 deaths. Of those who contracted the illness, 170,000 had recovered.
There were 1,738 coronavirus patients hospitalized as of Monday, 342 of whom were being treated in intensive care units.
Health officials in the Inland Empire Tuesday put out a plea for residents to stay home and follow local health orders as hospitals struggled to keep up with the demand. According to Riverside County Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton, some hospitals have started resorting to “surge capacity” plans to expand critical care space where possible.
“Everybody is pushing their limits,” Annette Greenwood, chief nursing officer Riverside Community Hospital, said. “There aren’t enough of us to go around. Our staff of amazing superheroes, I have to say that, are right now working extra shifts, are staying over.”
Staffing for the ICU and emergency department got so dire that the National Guard sent in a team days before Christmas to help shore up staffing — and morale.
“These medics are amazing,” Greenwood said. “They jumped right into our emergency department and have been helping down there.”
Ventura County health officials reported 993 newly confirmed cases and 11 additional fatalities, bringing countywide totals to 37,572 cases and 255 deaths. Of those who had contracted the illness, 33,540 had recovered and 3,777 were under active quarantine.
There were 363 coronavirus patients hospitalized Tuesday, 66 of whom were being treated in intensive care units.
As of Tuesday evening, 1,616,591 Riverside County residents, 1,636,522 San Bernardino County residents and 680,605 Ventura County residents had been tested for COVID-19.