NEEDLES — To get off of the state’s monitoring list, San Bernardino County is taking initiative by developing programs to show consistent and positive results.

The county stated that it has launched several key initiatives that are showing results such as the COVID-Compliant Business Partnership and the Education/Engagement/Enforcement Plan. The county has also increased the test- ing capacity with a new, painless nasal testing system that can deliver results in under three days. And they have a robust tracing system that can identify and isolate infected individuals to quickly stop the spread of the virus.

San Bernardino County Director of Public Health Corwin Porter said that the county has improved in new cases and positive rates but the county needs to do a much better job to get off the monitoring list.

“Our performance on these measures is improving,” said Porter. “We have done an excellent job preparing our hospitals for a potential surge in seriously ill patients. Now, residents need to not let their guard down and be cautious about gathering with family and friends.”

The county said it is improving its performance testing. The state requires an average (over seven days) of at least 150 tests per 100,000 residents per day, which in the case of the county is about 3,000 tests per day. Since Aug. 9, the county has averaged 4,679 tests per day.

“Among other benefits, testing will identify asymptomatic carriers who could be unwittingly spreading the virus,” said Porter. “By identifying these individuals and those with whom they have been in close contact, we can enable them to quickly isolate themselves and thus reduce the spread of the virus.

"We can get off the monitoring list if everyone continues to follow the guidelines we’ve been emphasizing: maintain a safe distance from other people, wear a mask or face covering when such distance is impractical, and please, please avoid gathering with people outside our immediate household,” said Porter. “The more consistently we follow these simple rules, the more quickly we can get off the state’s list and get back to business.”

The county said that all should add to this list of guidelines to get tested now. And if you work with the public, or have found yourself in an unsafe gathering, you should get tested again.

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