Riverside County reports 8,000 coronavirus cases in 24 hours; testing efforts ramping up across region

Leticia Juarez Image
Friday, December 18, 2020
Riverside County reports 8K COVID cases in 24 hours
Riverside County recently recorded 8,000 new COVID-19 cases within a span of just 24 hours. The continuing surge has more people than ever looking to get tested.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Riverside County hit a new record after reporting 8,000 new COVID-19 infections in just 24 hours, with more than 1,000 residents hospitalized due to the virus. The continuing surge makes testing more urgent than ever.

"The more people that find out if they have COVID or not, if they are positive they isolate and they break that chain of exposure, and they're not infecting any additional people," said Capt. Brian Guzzetta with the City of Riverside Fire Department.

IE doctor describes saving 10 code-blue patients in 1 shift

"I've never seen so many code blues, all in one shift." Dr. Raman Dhillon saved 10 code-blue patients in one morning at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, one of the hardest-hit hospitals in the nation.

Thursday afternoon at the University of California in Riverside, cars lined up in lot 26 for free COVID-19 tests. The campus is the third testing site in the city which already has two other drive-up locations, along with a kiosk downtown and a mobile testing van.

The city is working with Curative to offer less invasive self-administered oral swabs.

"We know that testing is the key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community," said Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson.

To schedule a free test, visit www.curative.com.

Doctors at Riverside hospital urge nurses not to strike as county's ICUs reach 100% capacity

"It's a critical time, and we felt so strongly that without our nursing partners, patients' lives would be at risk undoubtedly." Riverside County ICUs are now at 100% capacity with a nurses strike looming. Doctors at one hospital are begging the nurses not to walk off the job.

IE hospital overwhelmed by COVID surge forced to treat patients in parking lot tents

With many intensive care units already at maximum capacity in the Inland Empire, doctors are warning that an increase in cases after Christmas and New Year's could be catastrophic.

Barstow Community Hospital faces dire situation, several nurses sick with COVID

A nurse who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Eyewitness News that the situation at Barstow Community Hospital is dire, with several nurses sick with COVID-19 and several others physically and emotionally drained from the pandemic.

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