On Wednesday, March 25, a 46-year-old man with underlying medical conditions became the second person to die in San Bernardino County from causes associated with COVID-19.
Fifty-four positive cases have been reported within the county.
"This is a second sad reminder of the seriousness of this pandemic," said Dr. Erin Gustafson, San Bernardino County Acting Health Officer. "Our thoughts are with this person's loved ones. At the same time, for all of us it emphasizes the importance of staying at home when we can and practicing good hygiene and social distancing."
Wed, Mar 25, 6:14 PM (16 hours ago)
The county of San Bernardino reported its first death associated with novel coronavirus COVID-19 on Tuesday, March 24, during a week that also saw coronovirus cases within the county rise to 38 and the state take several actions to prepare for a surge in patients.
According to a county press release, the patient who died was a 50-year-old male with underlying health conditions.
"Our hearts go out to this gentleman's loved ones," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. "This is a sad milestone in our county's fight against this global pandemic. This loss reminds us how vital it is that we comply with official health orders to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our communities safe."
The county’s first COVID-19 death came in the same week that a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department patrol deputy was reported to have tested positive for the virus as well as a San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) staff member.
The sheriff’s deputy tested positive for the virus on Monday, March 23. According to the department, the deputy is resting at home with flu-like symptoms and the department is investigating when and where the deputy was exposed to the virus.
On Tuesday, March 24, SBCUSD was notified that one of its staff from Dominguez Elementary tested positive. Dominguez, like all SBCUSD schools and administration offices, has been closed since Monday, March 16, and will remain closed until at least Friday, May 1.
The district cooperated with the San Bernardino County Department of Health to notify those who may have come in contact with the staff member.
In order to meet the health care demands of an anticipated surge in patients, Gov. Gavin Newsom requested and received a presidential major disaster declaration on Sunday, March 22.
“Earlier today we requested a presidential major disaster declaration and this afternoon we got it,” said Newsom on Sunday. “The declaration will supplement our state’s comprehensive COVID-19 surge planning and make vital resources available. We appreciate the quick response and partnership from the White House.”
The declaration makes federal funding available for state, tribal and local governments for emergency protective measures.
The state also received the requested support of the USNS Mercy, a 1,000-bed hospital ship, to increase the state’s patient capacity. As of Monday, March 23, the ship was headed for the port of Los Angeles. Newsom requested that USNS Mercy serve in the port until Sept. 1, 2020.