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Have a COVID-Safe Labor Day so we can open more businesses

San Bernardino County is very close to meeting the metrics needed to move out of the State’s purple tier and into the red tier. When that happens, schools, restaurants, gyms, nail salons, places of worship, and other businesses and activities can be cleared for indoor use again with occupancy limits.

That’s why County Public Health officials are urging county residents to remain vigilant during the Labor Day weekend.

“Our data is showing that we are getting much closer to meeting the State’s metrics to move into the red tier,” said County Public Health Director Corwin Porter. “We all need to do our part, especially this weekend, and avoid gatherings of people or situations that may allow the virus to continue its spread.”

The two key metrics for moving between tiers can be seen on the newly designed “CDPH Monitoring” tab on the County’s COVID-19 dashboard. Other dashboard tabs were redesigned and updated today as well. The ongoing percentage of tests coming in positive has to be below 8% over seven days. In one month the county has moved from 20.6% to 8.4%. The other metric is new positive cases per day per 100,000 residents over seven days. The number that has to be met is seven. In less than a week, the county has moved from 11.6 to 9.3.

The Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends were followed by huge spikes in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and eventually deaths. That prompted the State to order closed many of the operations and activities that had just opened. There is concern the same thing could happen after Labor Day.

The following measures reduce the spread of infection and move more businesses and activities closer to reopening:

  • Avoid gathering with people who are not members of your household. Almost 70% of those who test positive and had participated in a gathering had gathered with family and friends from different households.
  • If you must shop or leave home for other essential needs, wear something that covers your nose and mouth to protect others in case you have the virus and don’t know it. Almost 12% of those who are infected do not have symptoms of illness, and that number is growing. In mid-August, only 10.3% of those infected were asymptomatic.
  • Make a conscious effort to keep yourself at least six feet away from people who are not members of your household.
  • Get tested, even if you don’t feel sick and don’t have reason to think you’ve been exposed to the virus. In 48 hours or less you can find out if you are an asymptomatic carrier and whether you should temporarily isolate yourself from loved ones, especially those who are elderly or sick. The County offers free and painless testing at 15 locations throughout the county. The State of California as well as some pharmacies and medical clinics offer testing as well.

None of these on their own eliminate risk. But each of these proven measures reduces risk, and when combined, they reduce risk significantly. Combined over the Labor Day weekend, they might very well make the difference in how soon you can eat inside a restaurant in San Bernardino County, go inside of a gym, or get your nails done indoors.

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