Health

Public Health officer recommends face coverings during essential outings

San Bernardino County health officials are recommending people use face coverings when leaving home to conduct essential business such as grocery shopping, going to a medical appointment or visiting a pharmacy to help flatten the curve of Covid-19.  The County made the recommendation after reviewing guidance released on April 1 from the state Department of Public Health. Face coverings may include coverings that secure to the ears or back of the head and encompass the mouth and nose. Homemade cloth ear loop covers, bandannas and handkerchiefs, and neck gaiters may be used to reduce the spread of Covid-19 particularly among asymptomatic people. Staying home, practicing social distancing and frequent handwashing are far more effective ways to combat the spread of Covid-19, and face coverings are not a substitute for continuing those practices, said Acting County Public Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “Surgical masks and N95 masks should not be used because they must be preserved for healthcare workers and emergency responders,” Gustafson said. “If you do use a face covering, make sure to practice frequent hand washing before and after touching and adjusting the covering.” Wash cloth…

Governor Newsom launches campaign to protect health and well-being of older Californians during COVID-19 pandemic

Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the “Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In.” campaign urging Californians to help combat social isolation and food insecurity among Californians who are over the age of 65 – a community that is uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19. During California’s stay at home order, older Californians may need friends and neighbors to help them obtain basic necessities like groceries and prescriptions. “The most important way for older Californians to stay safe is to stay at home,” said Governor Newsom. “No older Californian should be forced to go outside to get groceries or their medication. It’s on all of us across the state to check in on the older adults in our lives – our friends, family and neighbors – to help them during this outbreak. Each and every one of us must reach out in a safe way to make sure our older neighbors have someone to talk to and have enough food to eat during these difficult times.” The campaign urges all Californians to check in on their older neighbors with a call, text or physically-distanced door knock to make sure…

Sample collection for COVID-19 testing to be held in Victorville Apr. 2

County Public Health will conduct a drive-thru sample collection event for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the High Desert on Thursday, April 2 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, 14800 7th St., Victorville from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. for appointments, and 1 – 2 p.m. (or until supplies last) for walk-ins (no appointment needed) This event is open to San Bernardino County residents only. Residents can request an appointment at sbcovid19.com at 2 p.m. today, March 31. Residents who cannot access the form online can call the COVID-19 hotline at (909) 387-3911 and staff will assist in completing the request form. This event is free of charge and does not require health insurance. All persons will be pre-screened upon completing the appointment request form to ensure that all persons meet testing criteria. “With a nationwide shortage of testing supplies for COVID-19, we want to make sure that our most vulnerable populations receive testing priority,” stated Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “As more community testing is available, the better we are able to mitigate the virus. Everyone can help us fight the threat by…

County COVID-19 dashboard now includes confirmed cases by city

The County COVID-19 dashboard now includes confirmed cases of COVID-19 by city. The dashboard can be viewed on wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/coronavirus. “The number of cases by city provides a picture of community spread within our county,” stated County Acting Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “However, residents of cities not listed or with low case numbers should assume and behave as if there are cases within their communities and comply with the statewide stay-at-home order. Residents of cities that are listed should not panic and feel the need to go somewhere else. I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of staying at home and practicing good hygiene to reduce further community spread.” The city data added today is intended to represent the places of residence for each confirmed case within the county, regardless of where they were tested or where they might be hospitalized. Cities and communities not listed have zero confirmed cases.Those who view the data should also keep in mind that residence data is based on information contained on lab slips that accompany test results. In some cases, that information might pertain the hospital where a…

The teenager’s guide to getting through isolation

The times we are living in are crazy. The global pandemic, COVID-19, seems to be the only thing anyone is talking about. The fast spread of this deadly virus has led many countries to go on lockdown, and many others are isolating themselves from the outside world. This includes teenagers. As a teenager, not being able to hang out with friends is pretty rough, but there are a few things you can do to get through this crazy period of time. One thing teens can do is go on a walk. Many health organizations have said going outside and walking is fine, and won’t put you at risk. If you have a pet, walk your pet!  If not, take a jog around your block. This allows you to stay healthy and breath some fresh air. Another activity is playing board games.  Yes, it sounds crazy, but board games can be a very fun family activity. Games like Scrabble, Life and Scattergories can provide some hour long entertainment, all while preventing any spread of germs.   Now, this next one may be unpopular, but change out of your Pajamas once in a…

31 cases of COVID-19 recorded within county

San Bernardino County today reported a total of 31 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), an increase of 14 since Sunday afternoon. The County has no deaths attributable to the disease. Additional cases are expected to emerge as more test results are reported to the County. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State Public Health Officer on March 19 issued a statewide stay-at-home order with exceptions for essential tasks and services. See details here: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/.“These orders are not intended to cause 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,” said Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “We have evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in our County and urge everyone to take this very seriously. I strongly urge everyone to do their part by practicing social distancing and staying at home.” 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…

Dignity Health offers free virtual Urgent Care visits for patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms

Dignity Health – Southwest Division today announced the launch of a free virtual urgent care service, Virtual Care Anywhere, for anyone in our community experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of the new coronavirus. Virtual urgent care visits are being encouraged as an initial care option for anyone who would like to discuss symptoms characteristic of COVID-19 with a health care professional. As ambulatory and acute care facilities across the country experience an increase in the number of patients with COVID-19 symptoms, virtual health care visits can help providers meet demand while reducing potential transmission of the coronavirus. The service is a safe and convenient way for people to speak with a medical professional for advice without needing to visit a physical care location. There are six Dignity Health hospitals in Southern California, including: Community Hospital of San Bernardino and St. Bernardine Medical Center in the Inland Empire, California Hospital Medical Center in downtown Los Angeles, Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center, Northridge Hospital Medical Center and St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach. To use the service, people can simply visit dignityhealth.org/virtualcareanywhere, download the Virtual…

San Bernardino County school districts extend school closures through May 1

In a unified effort to protect the health of students, staff and school communities, San Bernardino County Superintendent Ted Alejandre and school district superintendents countywide, in collaboration with the County Department of Public Health, made the collective decision to extend public school closures at least through May 1. “Because of the increasing spread of the novel coronavirus in our region and across the state, we are taking a proactive and aggressive approach to maintain the health, safety and well-being of our schools and communities,” County Superintendent Alejandre said. “These are very difficult circumstances for our education leaders, since developments with this virus are happening so quickly,” he added. “I fully support our district superintendents’ collective decision to do what is best for our students, employees and families across our county.” Most districts in the county decided on March 13 to close schools as a preventative measure to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since the closures, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Bernardino County continue to rise. On March 17, the Board of Supervisors issued a countywide order to help stop the spread of…

Two new cases of novel coronavirus recorded within county

San Bernardino County today reported its fourth and fifth case of novel coronavirus. The county reported its first case on Sunday. Additional cases have been expected to emerge as private lab testing begins ramping up. In an effort to protect the public from further spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, the County’s Acting Health Officer on Tuesday ordered the cancellation of gatherings of any number of people within the county starting tomorrow through at least April 6, with key exceptions for work, public transportation, airport travel, grocery stores, charitable food distribution, certified farmers’ markets, and shopping at stores or malls. The order also requires, starting today, the closing of all movie theatres, gyms, health clubs, bars, adult entertainment establishments, and other businesses that serve alcohol but do not serve food. Food and beverage establishments must follow guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health on Monday (http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR20-024.aspx). The order does not apply to congregate living situations, including dormitories and homeless encampments. All San Bernardino County public schools have voluntarily closed as part of the effort to stop the spread of the virus, according…

County orders cancellation of all gatherings; third case confirmed

In an effort to protect the public from further spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, the County’s Acting Health Officer today ordered the cancellation of gatherings of any number of people within the county starting tomorrow through at least April 6. The order also requires, starting tomorrow, the closing of all movie theatres, gyms, health clubs, bars, adult entertainment establishments, and other businesses that serve alcohol but do not serve food. Food and beverage establishments must follow guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health on Monday (http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR20-024.aspx). The order does not apply to activities “essential to the functioning of our state” including work, public transportation, airport travel, grocery stores, charitable food distribution, certified farmers’ markets, and shopping at stores or malls. The order also does not apply to congregate living situations, including dormitories and homeless encampments. All San Bernardino County public schools have voluntarily closed as part of the effort to stop the spread of the virus, according to the County Superintendent of Schools. “I understand this creates hardships for many families and businesses. But at the end of the day I…

Board of Education votes to shut down Rialto School District, breakfast, lunch provided to students via “Grab & Go” bags

The Rialto Unified School District Board of Education held an emergency meeting on Monday morning, March 16, to consider adopting a resolution that would allow RUSD Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila the authority to close the district to ensure and protect the welfare and safety of the community in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Board members voted unanimously in favor of the motion; non-essential personnel will not be required to report to work and placed on paid leave. Prior to board members going into closed session, Lisa Lindberg, president of Rialto Education Association, and RUSD educator Tobin Brinker expressed concerns about teachers reporting to school sites during the closure. “During this crisis you must also consider your employees and their families, our members have legitimate concerns about their loved ones and personal circumstances,” Lindberg noted. “Just as (RUSD Board Clerk) Mr. Martinez has chosen to self-quarantine himself from this meeting this morning, our members have the exact same concern.” Martinez participated in the meeting remotely. According to statements read by Brinker teachers were concerned about their safety and that of their families for fear of exposure…

Rialto City Council declares local emergency in response to COVID-19

An emergency meeting was held in Rialto on March 12 when Rialto City Council announced a local emergency in response to the coronavirus. Although at the time of the meeting no residents within city limits had contracted the virus, City Council was adamant towards being proactive in protecting constituents in the community and beyond. “Let’s all be very diligent, helpful and observant in this space. This is the time for us to look at each other, be kind and understand that we are all in this together. Do not racial profile or give anyone a sense of not being wanted or belonging,” said Mayor Deborah Robertson. During discussion, council recommended residents utilize air purifiers in their home. “This is an unfortunate local and international issue. We need to take action on these items today. I’m proud that we were able to secure some supplies from the Office of Emergency Services from the County of San Bernardino so our police and fire fighters have proper equipment while they’re out in the field,” said Councilman Andy Carrizales. Some of the action taken in the city is the…

IECF opens new fund to support local residents affected by COVID-19 crisis

Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF) has opened the IE COVID-19 Resilience Fund for the collection of financial donations to assist nonprofits and vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19. Contributions will be used initially to address the short‐ term and rapidly changing needs of those affected by this public health crisis. IECF is committed to working with grantees, local nonprofits and service providers, fundholders, philanthropy, and government to identify the greatest needs and best resources for helping this community manage this crisis in the weeks and months ahead. Once funds have been raised, grants will be made to organizations in Riverside and San Bernardino counties based on an ongoing needs assessment through IECF and its partners. Some areas of concern include food security, childcare, our homeless population, and independent workers without a safety net.  “Today, we are in conversation with dozens of nonprofit leaders to assess the current and pending impacts of demand on services and changes in how operations are being handled in order to better raise and distribute funding. Collaboration and coordination is key and we appreciate the outreach and support of many leaders and partners…

SB School District will feed, provide child care to students this week

Although classes are not in session from March 16-20 due to COVID-19 pandemic, San Bernardino City Unified Schools continue feeding and caring for children. To support working families with no other childcare options during the week of March 16-20, all SBCUSD elementary schools are offering free, emergency childcare for enrolled students up to age 11.  Childcare will be provided to District students from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Enrolled students can receive childcare at the school closest to them, even if that is not the school they regularly attend.  Parents and guardians are asked to complete an emergency information card on the first day the student receives child care and must sign in and sign out students daily. All children ages 18 and younger will receive free breakfast and lunch only March 16-20 and will not be asked to provide a student ID number or other identification.  Meals will be served during the following times: Elementary SchoolsBreakfast- 8:20 to 8:50 a.m.Lunch- 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.Middle Schools and High SchoolsBreakfast- 7:00 to 7:25 a.m.Lunch- 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The San Bernardino City Unified School District is…

School districts across SB County close due to COVID-19

Several San Bernardino County Superintendent School Districts have closed to students beginning March 16 in efforts to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). “I support our local school districts’ efforts to develop plans that will best serve the safety and well-being of the students and staff in their communities,” Alejandre said. “These are unprecedented times for public education in meeting the challenges presented by this virus, as rapidly changing information and dynamics need to be addressed.” Earlier Sunday, Gov. Newsom indicated that further guidance for public schools would be provided March 17 to address the diverse needs of California school districts-urban and remote, large and small-as well as the diversity of student populations, including the need for food services and child care, and supports for the state’s most vulnerable students including special education, foster youth and homeless students. San Bernardino County Public Health officials confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in San Bernardino County Sunday. The County Department of Public Health also has issued a low threshold for the spread of the virus countywide. Even so, there have been a tremendous amount of…

First case of novel coronavirus recorded within San Bernardino County

San Bernardino County recorded its first case of novel coronavirus on Sunday, Mar. 15. The case appeared in a Kaiser Fontana patient who returned from London, U.K., sometime last week. The test was administered by Quest Diagnostics on Thursday, March 12. The results were reported to the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health today. The patient, a 53-year-old female, presented herself to the Kaiser Fontana emergency department on March 12 with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The County Department of Public Health is working to identify the patient’s contacts to monitor them for signs and symptoms of the illness and to take measures to prevent transmission. As should always be the case, people experiencing symptoms of contagious illness should seek medical guidance, not attend work or school, and avoid unnecessary contact with other people. “We knew it was only a matter of time before we recorded our first case,” said Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “This does not change our level of readiness and alert because the county is in a state of emergency, we are prepared from a public health standpoint, and…

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