COVID-19 case totals in May have claimed the third-highest spot so far in Riverside County this year, showing just how severe the latest rise in infections has been.
More than 11,200 confirmed COVID-19 have been reported so far in Riverside County this month. Though that is not at high as totals reported earlier this year — 139,909 in February and 52,274 in January — it's a substantial increase from earlier this spring. There were 6,335 cases reported in March and 3,144 cases in April.
Between Thursday and Friday, Riverside County added another 1,373 COVID-19 cases.
Though cases are climbing in Riverside County, the CDC says the county has a low community transmission level. People "may choose to mask at any time," but those with symptoms, a positive test or those who have been exposed to COVID-19 should wear a mask, according to the CDC.
There are now at least four COVID-19 variants circulating in the United States. BA.2.12.1, a subvariant that evolved from the omicron subvariant, is dominant, making up 57.9% of cases, and BA.2, the omicron subvariant, makes up 39.1%, according to estimates by the CDC for the week ending May 21. The newer strains are even more infectious than previous strains, adding to the increase in cases.
There are 91 people hospitalized in Riverside County, two fewer patients compared to Wednesday. That number also includes 10 people in intensive care.
No new deaths were reported between Wednesday and Friday. There have been 6,538 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
There have been 20 deaths reported so far in May. Death totals in 2022 include: 440 in January, 282 in February, 64 in March and 23 in April.
In Riverside County, 58.9% of residents ages 5 and older have completed their primary vaccine series, which includes both shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. About 28.2% of the population ages 5 and older has been boosted.
Vaccination data for the nine Coachella Valley cities has also been updated for the 5 and older population:
Cathedral City: 75.8% completed their primary series; 38% boosted
Coachella: 73.6% completed their primary series; 28.5% boosted
Desert Hot Springs: 66.9% completed their primary series; 27.5% boosted
Indian Wells: 76.9% completed their primary series; 48.2% boosted
Indio: 72.3% completed their primary series; 33.7% boosted
La Quinta: 73.2% completed their primary series; 41.3% boosted
Palm Desert: 78.2% completed their primary series; 45.2% boosted
Palm Springs: 82.5% completed their primary series; 53.2% boosted
Rancho Mirage: 87.0% completed their primary series; 59.4% boosted
USA Today contributed to this report.
Ema Sasic covers health in the Coachella Valley. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter @ema_sasic.
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: COVID-19: May cases in Riverside County rank third-highest this year