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Coronavirus infections surge in Inland Empire; San Bernardino County cases triple in days

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Riverside County medical personnel administer a coronavirus test at a drive-though testing facility in Lake Elsinore on Saturday.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Despite efforts to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, two counties in the Inland Empire have seen a jump in confirmed cases this week.

San Bernardino County recorded 54 COVID-19 cases and two fatalities related to the virus as of Thursday. The number of confirmed cases has tripled in less than a week. The county initially recorded 17 cases Monday.

Two men — a 50-year-old and 46-year-old — died of the illness this week. Both had underlying health conditions, according to the county. Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson said in a statement that the deaths were a “sad reminder of the seriousness of this pandemic.”

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“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,” she said.

In nearby Riverside County, 107 positive COVID-19 cases were confirmed as of Thursday, an increase of 37 from the day before.

Eight people died this month from the virus. All of those individuals were 70 or older, and some had underlying health conditions, said county spokeswoman Brooke Federico. Seven of those deaths were in the Coachella Valley, and one was in the mid-region of the county.

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