Coronavirus COVID-19 lab tests

A worker processes tests in the San Bernardino County Public Health Department laboratory.

SAN BERNARDINO — By Wednesday morning, 183 San Bernardino County residents had tested positive for the new coronavirus and six residents’ deaths were connected to COVID-19, the Department of Public Health said.

The county also announced a new number: 29 county residents are suspected to have the new coronavirus, for a total of 212 confirmed or suspected cases. 

The number of reported positive tests in Yucca Valley remained at two; nowhere else in the Morongo Basin has had a confirmed case yet.

The county will report positive tests in unincorporated communities when they are reported, county spokesman David Wert said.

So far, the county has tested 2,256 residents of nearly 2.2 million who live here.

Several nearby cities have reported cases; Big Bear City and Big Bear Lake have one each and Desert Hot Springs has seven.

Elsewhere in Riverside County, where health officials have now advised residents to wear coverings over their mouths and noses when they leave their homes, Palm Springs has 31 confirmed cases, Cathedral City has 10, Rancho Mirage has 13, Palm Desert has 21, Indian Wells has five, Indio has 20 and Coachella has one, according to the latest information from the Public Health Department.

The county will hold its second drive-through public testing event Thursday, April 2, in Victorville. Appointments were available online starting Tuesday afternoon, but by Wednesday morning, they were filled.

The county will collect testing samples only for people who have COVID-19 symptoms and are at high risk of contracting and spreading the virus, according to spokesman David Wert.

After testing those with appointments, the county will allow “walk-ins” (who must still drive through in their cars. Testing will be open from 1 to 2 p.m. or until supplies run out April 2 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, 14800 7th St., Victorville.

San Bernardino County’s sick include 51 elderly residents and six staff members of a nursing facility in Yucaipa who tested positive for COVID-19. Two residents had died as of Tuesday.

A resident of a second nursing facility in Mentone is presenting symptoms of the disease, the county announced.

The county collected mucus specimens from around 79 people at the facility, Director of Public Health Trudy Raymundo said in a press conference Tuesday. Some employees could not participate in the testing and were told they should assume they were infected, according to Raymundo.

County residents who have tested positive also include two sheriff’s deputies who work in county jails, and one San Bernardino County firefighter.

Local Congressman Paul Cook seemed to suggest he might ask for a strike team or other federal aid for the area during a press conference in Yucaipa Tuesday.

“The conditions here are all in perfect alignment for a bad scenario and that’s what I’m going to try to convey to the White House,” Cook said.

The county collected 122 samples at its first drive-through testing March 27. Results are expected Friday.

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