The death toll from COVID-19 continues to break daily records in Riverside County, where health officials are warning people with preexisting health issues to take extra safety precautions because they are at the highest risk of death or severe illness.
Despite heroic work by nurses and doctors in ICUs all across Riverside County, the single day death toll from coronavirus has broken another record: 28 recorded deaths on Wednesday, breaking the previous record high last week.
"That's why we all need to be careful about preventing transmission because it may affect someone we care about and somebody who may not be able to handle the infection as well as they could," said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County's public health officer.
Local news from across Southern California
The total number of COVID-19 related deaths has now surpassed 600 -- the second highest in Southern California, only behind LA County.
Kaiser says people who have pre-existing health conditions are having the toughest time surviving the virus.
"People who are particularly overweight, they need ventilation or ICU. They become much harder to treat and more of them pass away as a result. Those with diabetes, heart and lung issues -- those are the people who could get in trouble if infected," he said.
Kaiser says he's also seeing a disturbing trend of family members from different households getting together with a false sense of security, thinking they're in a safety bubble with family members, and not realizing someone could unknowingly be asymptomatic.
"That's why we are really careful to tell people, please don't mix households even if it's people you know, even if they look healthy," he said.
It’s advice the Adelanto Mayor Pro Tem Gerry Hernandez couldn't agree with more.
"The only way we are going to beat this is by helping each other and working together," Hernandez said.
On Wednesday, Hernandez finally came home from the hospital after spending more than four months recovering from coronavirus. The virus that also spread to his wife, one of their daughters, and his own mother. His mother sadly passed away from COVID-19 complications.
"If you don't have to go anywhere, stay home. Stay home with your family. It's not worth putting any of your family at risk," Hernandez said.