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.