A 15-year member of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and father of four children has died after contracting coronavirus.
Deputy Terrell Young died Thursday morning, the department said in a tweet. He had been battling the virus for about a week, according to the sheriff.
“It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that I must announce the passing of one of our RSO family members,” Sheriff Chad Bianco tweeted.
Young started his career with the department in December 2005. During that time, he worked at the Larry Smith Correctional Facility, Perris Station, court services, Southwest Station and the Cois Byrd Detention Center.
He is survived by his wife and four children.
Young was the first member of the department to contract the virus, which had killed 13 people in Riverside County. The county’s health department reported 429 confirmed cases, as of Thursday morning.
"I have been in touch with his family and they are requesting privacy at this time," association president Bill Young said in a statement. "Our association family, and law enforcement family as a whole, mourns with all of you, and our deepest sympathy and prayers extend to the family of Deputy Terrell Young. Please stay safe and take care of one another during these unprecedented, extremely difficult times."
On Monday, Sheriff Chad Bianco announced that three sheriff's deputies had so far tested positive for COVID-19.
The majority of the county's 13 COVID-19 deaths have occurred in the Coachella Valley. According to health officials, 40 of the county's 429 patients have recovered from the disease, up from 30 on Tuesday.
The number of cases, however, is anticipated to continue rising. On Tuesday, Riverside University Health System officials estimated that by April 12, all 102 of the county's intensive care unit beds could be full. By April 22, all hospital beds could be filled.
All 172 available ventilators -- which helps patients breathe when they can't do so on their own -- could be used by April 26, according to the modeling.
The RUHS estimated that 3,000 ICU beds would be needed by early May, along with 9,000 regular hospital beds, noting that the virus numbers double every 4.7 days. By early May, 1,000 people could die and about 30,000 people be infected by COVID-19, according to the health system.
As of Tuesday, 4,700 people had been tested for the coronavirus in Riverside County, according to county public health spokesman Jose Arballo. The local mortality rate remains slightly over 1%, he said. By comparison, Los Angeles County is reporting a 1.8% mortality rate.