COVID-19 cases in San Bernardino County nearly double with 8 new patients; no death reported

Coronavirus
A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

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Nobody has died of the novel coronavirus in San Bernardino County, but the region has nearly doubled its total cases after reporting its first patient a week ago, officials announced Sunday.

Like in other jurisdictions, the spike in local cases, which now stand at 18, was not unexpected as more testing results become available.

San Bernardino County reported its first case on March 15. The case involved a 53-year-old woman who had recently returned from London and reported symptoms at the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center, according to the county.

On March 16, authorities confirmed a second case in a 54-year-old man who had underlying health issues and had come into contact with an individual who traveled to Washington—the first state in the U.S. hit hard by the outbreak.

After confirming a case for the third day in a row, San Bernardino County ordered the cancellation of all gatherings and the closure of movie theaters, bars, gyms and other establishments.

On Sunday, Barstow Community Hospital announced that it was treating its first COVID-19 patient.

“We are working closely with the San Bernardino Department of Public Health on this matter and are taking all measures to help prevent the spread of this illness,” said a post on the hospital’s Facebook page.

County officials provided no further information about the new cases but warned locals to heed precautions.

“There is a fairly even distribution of cases throughout our county,” acting county health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson said in a statement. “No one should assume the virus is not present in their community. We must presume and behave as if the virus is everywhere.”

In neighboring Riverside County, the numbers were more concerning.

Authorities there reported another death on Sunday, bringing the county’s total to six. Local officials so far have reported 31 coronavirus infections, including 24 that were contracted locally.

The county confirmed its first locally acquired case on March 8.

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