SAN BERNARDINO — The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in San Bernardino County surged past 100 over the weekend, with 111 people testing positive and three deaths confirmed by Monday morning.
County and private labs have processed 996 tests so far, according to the Department of Public Health.
The sick include 12 elderly residents of a nursing facility in Yucaipa who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, March 28.
Another resident of the nursing home, an 89-year-old woman with underlying health issues, died from COVID-19 Thursday, March 26.
A resident of a second nursing facility in Mentone is presenting symptoms of the disease, the county announced.
Public Health professionals are working with both facilities to expedite the immediate testing of everyone who lives and works in both facilities, according to the county.
“This is the first instance we have had in our county of a concentrated COVID-19 outbreak,” said Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “The county will do everything within its ability and authority to minimize the tragedy this pandemic has the potential to create in our communities.”
She called the outbreak a signal to anyone who is resisting complying with public health orders and guidelines.
“Staying at home, minimizing non-essential contact with others, maintaining social distancing from even people we know and with whom we have regular contact, and consistently practicing good hygiene is our best hope of making forward the other side of this pandemic,” Gustafson said.
County residents who have tested positive also include two sheriff’s deputies who work in county jails. The Sheriff’s Department announced they had tested positive Sunday, March 29.
The county fire department announced on the same day that two firefighters have tested positive for the new coronavirus. These are the first two positive cases of firefighter first responders within the county.
One works for the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District (the county fire department) and the other for the Montclair Fire Department.
One of the ongoing criticisms of San Bernardino County during the pandemic has been its refusal to reveal in what communities people have tested positive.
The county website says it will partly change that this week. It will begin reporting the number of cases in each of the county’s 24 incorporated cities and towns as soon as Monday.
The cases will be reported on the coronavirus dashboard at http://wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/coronavirus.