San Bernardino reports third coronavirus death

A person walks through an intersection with a "Welcome to San Bernardino" sign spanning overhead.
San Bernardino County has reported three deaths linked to the coronavirus.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

San Bernardino County reported a third death linked to the coronavirus Thursday night.

The number of confirmed cases has tripled this week to at least 55, up from 17 Monday. The increase is largely because of expanded testing, health officials say.

The three deaths include two men — a 50- and a 46-year-old — who both had underlying health conditions. The third death was of an 89-year-old woman who also had underlying health conditions, according to local reports.

To date, at least 674 people have been tested for COVID-19 in the county. According to a dashboard released Thursday, 8.2% of them have tested positive, the majority of whom have been men, the county reports.

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San Bernardino County’s public health department will conduct a drive-thru testing site Friday. The event is available by appointment only, and according to the website, none are currently available.

In addition to new testing measures, county officials are continuing to warn the public to social distance and avoid crowds.

“We continue to urge everyone to take the stay-at-home order very seriously,” said Dr. Erin Gustafson, acting health officer.

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Meanwhile, a Kaiser Permanente medical facility in San Bernardino recently closed after the medical group announced that it was shutting down some buildings, consolidating locations, postponing appointments and moving many to virtual visits amid an increase in COVID-19 cases.

The move came in an effort to protect staff and Kaiser members, support a potential increase in the number of people who need hospitalization, conserve personal protective equipment and protect against possible staffing shortages.