SAN BERNARDINO — The number of county residents who have tested positive for the new coronavirus continued to climb this week as the sheriff’s and fire departments both reported cases and a nursing home in Yucaipa suffered an outbreak.
San Bernardino County reported 125 people had tested positive by Tuesday, and four deaths have been connected to the coronavirus.
Less than 1 percent of all county residents have been tested — 1,948 people.
Those who have tested positive include two people in Yucca Valley and none in Twentynine Palms, new city listings of coronavirus tests showed.
The commanding general of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Brig. Gen. Roger Turner, said Monday that no one aboard the base has tested positive.
Cases in unincorporated communities like Joshua Tree, Morongo Valley and Landers are not listed by the county.
The 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 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. The Sheriff’s Department announced they had tested positive Sunday.
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 county fire department and the other for the Montclair Fire Department.
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.
Drive-through tests planned in Victorville
The county’s second drive-through testing for the new coronavirus will take place Thursday at the fairgrounds in Victorville.
County Public Health workers will take samples to be processed in public and private labs.
The testing is open to people who make appointments from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. If supplies are available, walk-ins will be accepted starting at 1 p.m.
Residents can request an appointment at sbcovid19.com or call the COVID-19 hotline at (909) 387-3911.
Testing is offered only to San Bernardino County residents who have symptoms of COVID-19 and are at high risk for contracting and spreading the virus. Everyone who makes an appointment will be pre-screened to ensure they meet testing criteria.
Testing is free and does not require insurance.
“With a nationwide shortage of testing supplies for COVID-19, we want to make sure that our most vulnerable populations receive testing priority,” said Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson.
The county collected 122 samples at its first drive-through testing March 27. Results are expected Friday.