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California

San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies, firefighters test positive for coronavirus

Two San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department deputies and two firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Two San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies and two firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, county officials said.

All four began self-isolating after they started to experience flu-like symptoms. They later tested positive for the virus and appear to be doing well, authorities said Sunday.

Sheriff’s officials said in a statement that they are investigating how their deputies, who were assigned to the department’s Detentions and Corrections Bureau, became infected.

“Although we do not know when and where the deputies were exposed to the virus, we continue to encourage all members to heed the warnings of health officials while on and off duty,” officials wrote in a statement.

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San Bernardino County fire officials also say it is not clear how their personnel were exposed to the virus. One of the firefighters works for the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District. The other works for the Montclair Fire Department, officials said.

Despite the infections, county fire officials say fire and ambulance services “remain robust and are fully staffed and equipped to respond to all emergencies.”

Experts say California will likely continue to see a surge in new cases and deaths in the coming weeks but hope that social distancing makes a difference.

The news comes a day after county officials announced that 12 people at a Yucaipa nursing facility tested positive for the virus after a resident of the facility died of COVID-19 last week. At least one of the people who tested positive worked at the facility, which officials did not name.

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A resident of a second Yucaipa nursing facility also has symptoms of the illness, officials said. County public health staffers are working with both facilities to expedite testing of all residents and employees, they said.

San Bernardino County had recorded 111 cases of the virus and three deaths as of Monday morning.


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