Eight new cases of novel coronavirus recorded within county

San Bernardino County today reported eight new cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The county now has a total of 17 confirmed cases and no deaths attributable to the disease.

 The county reported its first case on Sunday, March 15. Additional cases have been expected to emerge as more test results are reported to the County.

 California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State Public Health Officer on Thursday issued a statewide stay-at-home order with exceptions for essential tasks and services. See details here: covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs. 

 “Complying with public health orders is essential to our continued health and safety,” said Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “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.”

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

The Acting County Health Officer and the Board of Supervisors have declared a local health emergency to help ensure county government and the public are prepared and allow flexibility in response. Various  county departments and agencies are working together and in partnership with cities, schools, and the business and nonprofit communities to ensure an effective response.

 As with any virus, especially during the cold and flu season, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your health and those around you: 

· People experiencing symptoms of contagious illness  should seek medical guidance. 

· Persons  aged 65 years and older and persons of any age with certain underlying health conditions are at increased risk should they contract COVID-19 and are encouraged to self-quarantine.  

·  Wash hands with soap  and warm water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

·  Avoid touching eyes,  nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands. 

·  Clean and disinfect  frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

· N95 masks are not recommended outside a healthcare  setting. Surgical masks can be worn by sick individuals to reduce the likelihood of spreading germs to others.

For information about the coronavirus crisis, visit the County’s coronavirus website at wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/coronavirus.  New information and resources have been added and the site is being updated daily. The public can also contact the coronavirus public information line from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (909) 387-3911,  or email the County at coronavirus@dph.sbcounty.gov.

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