SAN BERNARDINO — Nearly 10 percent of the people who have been tested for the new coronavirus in San Bernardino County were confirmed to have the virus, the Public Health Department reported Thursday.

The number of cases will continue to climb as more are tested and the public and private labs processing those tests report their results, said Trudy Raymundo, director of Public Health.

By Thursday morning, the county had tested 549 people and 54 had the new coronavirus.

Two deaths because of the new coronavirus have been confirmed: a 46-year-old man and a 50-year-old man. Both had underlying medical conditions, according to the county.

Although testing supplies are short, San Bernardino County plans to hold its first drive-through tests today.

The tests were offered by appointment only and the roster filled up soon after sign-ups opened at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Raymundo said the tests would be restricted only to people who are at high risk for the disease and who are showing symptoms such as fever, dry cough, body aches and fatigue.

That follows Centers for Disease Control guidelines, as medical agencies try to limit unnecessary tests nationwide.

More drive-through tests should be scheduled in San Bernardino County soon.

“This is the pilot. We want to learn from it, refine it and scale it out county-wide,” Raymundo said at a press conference Thursday.

The county also launched its new COVID-19 dashboard Thursday, offering a graphic view at the number of tests and results, broken out by gender, age and lab.

The dashboard is at https://tinyurl.com/SBCcovid.

Doctor: ‘This virus is easily spread’

In the press conference Wednesday, doctors and public health officials told everyone it is essential to stay at home except for essential activities, maintain distances of at least six feet when you do go out and wash your hands often.

Webster Wong, chief of medical staff at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, said his advice to prevent the spread of coronavirus was simple: Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and stay at least six feet away from others.

“The virus is easily spread through close contact. It can survive in the air and on surfaces for long times,” Wong said.

“If you have a cough or fever and have been in contact with a coronavirus-positive person but do not have breathing problems, stay at home, isolate yourself, hydrate and control your fever with over-the-counter medication,” he said.

However, if you are having trouble breathing, he said, you should go to your local emergency room.

If you have a cough or fever, have been in contact with someone who tested positive and have underlying health problems, he recommends you contact your health provider.

(6) comments

Branson Hunter

A focus here is that the public is getting mixed messages.

Why is the county holding critical public health information from the public? Ontario filed a public records request Wednesday, March 25, to force San Bernardino County to divulge the locations of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, called COVID-19. If the county fails to comply -- absent a statutory defense for withholding the requested information -- it's likely Ontario will file a writ with the Superior Court seeking an order requiring the county to provide such information. Likely Ontario only requested information for Ontario (or not). Anyone can request information from the county. A search will quickly bring up easy and quick California Public Records request sample forms. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), which applies to state and local governments -- email requests have been acceptable by many agencies and local entities.

Simultaneously file a complaint with the AG. All that is made simple on their homepage. This from the SBC Daily Bulletin: "The county has not disclosed where any of those sickened by the virus resides. Not releasing the locations “puts Ontario and other cities at a disadvantage when it comes to keeping their own communities informed and safe,” Ontario officials said in a news release."

I believe the county will have to disclose this public information very soon. Better now that later. Understandable the county has their reasons: Protect privacy and they don't want the public to panic or commerce concerns (public health trumps commerce) . Disclosing cities where an individuals have COVID-19 doesn't come close to a breach of keeping your medical records private ( 42 U.S. Code § 9501).

We need the thank the local Desert TRAIL and HDS for publishing all public comments to stories and letters. It's a forum for the public to have meaningful discourse during this health crises. And to recognize their public service by publishing information hourly or when necessary.

T Twelvetrees

HDS and DT are sure there for us. The LA times has a list of every community in Los Angeles county. San Bernardino county could do the same thing. We don't need controllers, we need the facts so we can decide for ourselves what to do with the information..

Mike

@ Branson:

“Anyone can request information from the county. A search will quickly bring up Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), which applies to state and local governments -- email requests have been acceptable by many agencies and local entities.” – So, have you filed a request? What did you find out?

“Simultaneously file a complaint with the AG. All that is made simple on their homepage.” – have you done that?

Josh

NOT COVID - 19 RELATED!!

REPEAT NOT COVID!

REGULAR , EVERY DAY FLU!

38,000,000 – 54,000,000

flu illnesses

18,000,000 – 26,000,000

flu medical visits

400,000 – 730,000

flu hospitalizations

24,000 – 62,000

flu deaths

2019-2020 U.S. Flu Season: Preliminary Burden Estimates | CDC

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

horsehouse

So what’s your point?

Branson Hunter

@Mike

I have not done that. As you know the county has a legal duty to respond to the request within 10 day.

Ontario filed a public records request March 25, 10 working days with bring that too April 8th.

It makes sense to wait until 10 working days.

Ontario has the resources to pay the big fat $500 something filing fees for a writ.

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