YUCCA VALLEY — One man in Yucca Valley has been confirmed to have the new coronavirus disease, the commander of the Twentynine Palms combat center said in a Facebook post Friday night, March 20.
“There are no positive cases aboard the base. However there is now one confirmed civilian male case in Yucca Valley with no known connection to the base,” Brigadier General Roger Turner wrote on the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center’s official Facebook page.
San Bernardino County reported four news cases of novel coronavirus Friday, but has remained steadfast in its new policy not to reveal where the patients live.
County spokesman David Wert said Saturday morning, March 21, he could not confirm whether a Yucca Valley resident has COVID-19.
“We have been instructed not to disclose locational or personal information on the cases,” Wert said.
Capt. Nicole Plymale from the combat center's communications office said, "Brig Gen. Turner has tasked our health protection team with notifying him of any case on the base or out in town in order for us to adjust our leave and liberty plans accordingly. This was intended to keep our Marines and families safe."
As of Friday night, San Bernardino County confirmed nine residents and no deaths attributable to the disease.
Turner made his post at 7:35 p.m. Friday to urge people aboard the base to do more to prevent the spread of the disease.
“We must be more disciplined in adopting and enforcing social distancing and cleaning of hands and surfaces,” Turner wrote.
“In my travels around the base, I don’t think we are taking social distancing seriously enough. I am still seeing Marines moving in close order formations, unit PT at close order, folks too close together in the exchange …. We need to get serious about breaking the cycle of transmission before it starts.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State Public Health Office issued a statewide stay-at-home order on Tuesday, March 17, with exceptions for essential tasks and services. At the time, Newsom said that the purpose of the order was to reduce the spread of the virus which was projected to reach 56 percent of people in the state if no action was taken.
Newsom said at that time current projections predict 56 percent of the people of California would be infected with the virus over the next eight weeks if the state did not increase its mitigations.
“Complying with public health orders is essential to our continued health and safety,” said acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson in a press release. “These orders are not intended to spark panic, but rather reduce the spread of infection and minimize the number of people who get sick at any one time to keep our healthcare system functioning.”