Residents Urged to Avoid Social Gatherings this Holiday

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– It’s unfortunate, but undeniable: San Bernardino County, like numerous other counties throughout the state, is seeing a rapid increase in positive tests for COVID-19 — and worse, a significant expansion in hospitalizations due to the disease.

The County reported 753 new cases, the highest number of cases reported on a single day, and four deaths. Hospitalizations continue to go up, with 393 COVID-19 positive patients in County hospitals on Monday, June 29, which is up from 376 on Sunday, June 28. This rise in COVID-related hospital and ICU beds has seen a steady increase since June 17.

In response, Gov. Newsom today announced new restrictions for all the counties on the state’s monitoring list, which includes San Bernardino County. These restrictions include the mandatory closure of all bars, as well as indoor operations for restaurants and indoor entertainment venues.

It is apparent that too many people have let down their guard and ignored safety guidelines that have been promoted these past few months — social distancing, face coverings, proper handwashing, and especially avoiding social gatherings. Whether it’s been visiting their favorite bars and restaurants, or celebrating birthdays and graduations, we have felt compelled to get back together with friends and extended family, not seen in weeks or months.

“We get it. We, too, wish this pandemic were over. We all wish we could go back to our pre-coronavirus lives. But it’s just too soon to ease up on our efforts,” said Chairman Curt Hagman. “We made great progress since this virus struck our County, which led to us re-opening businesses through Stage 3 these past several weeks. But we must remain vigilant and make sure we can keep our businesses open.”

While the Board of Supervisors has worked to reopen businesses as much as possible, the data on our cases and hospitalizations is not helping our cause. San Bernardino County is on the state’s watch list for increases in infections — increases that have now led to further restrictions.

We urgently need your help and cooperation. Every resident — young and old, men and women, in every community within our County — needs to do their part. That means following simple, albeit mildly annoying guidelines. These guidelines are not arbitrary; they all have one simple purpose: to prevent the spread of the virus to the extent possible and allow us to avoid further restrictions.

This holiday weekend could be pivotal for our County. It’s a traditional time for gathering in groups, having neighborhood block parties, joining with others to watch firework displays, inviting friends over for a barbecue or picnic — all things that are a problem in this pandemic.

So the unfortunate truth is that this year must be different. We’re still facing a serious disease that has already affected well over 12,000 people in the County, and killed more than 250 of our friends, families and neighbors. That’s why we’re urging all of you to do your part and take the steps necessary to keep this dreadful virus from spreading.

Avoid gatherings with people outside of your household, wash your hands often, and when in public, use face coverings and keep your distance from others. Also, take the time to make an appointment for a test.

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