COVID-19 Spread Rate Now Geometric

With San Bernardino County’s known COVID-19 infection rate rising in a geometric progression beyond the initial stage of the virus’s spread in the late winter and early spring, the lion’s share of the safeguards which state and local authorities had imposed to “flatten the curve” of contagion have been lifted, even as signs that the peril that had prompted the unprecedented safety measures is about to manifest.
As of today, 11,290 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed within the county, along with 248 deaths.
On a bi-hourly basis, an examination of statistics shows, the potentially deadly condition is compounding in the county population nearly on a par with what was taking the virus a whole week to accomplish in March.
In the last seven days, there have been 2,576 new cases of the coronavirus detected in the county, equal to 15.33 cases per hour. By comparison, as of March 13, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Bernardino County. On March 27, the county had logged 64 known cases of the malady, and three deaths.
With the outset of June, the State of California and the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health began to progressively dismantle the regime that had been put in place to slow the coronavirus from spreading. Stay-at-home orders, closures of restaurants and service business entailing direct or close human contact, requirements that individuals wear masks in public, and both park and school closures were dispensed with.
Though the scale of testing has increased, indications are that the disease is on the march, increasing on a trajectory that will overwhelm hospitals and medical facilities within two to three weeks if as little as five percent percent of the infected population becomes critical. Meanwhile, even as authorities have begun to prepare makeshift hospitals at certain locations around the county that resemble those from the American Civil War or World War I, governmental authorities are unwilling, out of fear of provoking public unrest and protest, to reinstitute the safety mandates imposed on the public three months ago.
Public health officials declined to discuss with the Sentinel the prospect that the escalation in the number of known cases and the ending of citizen constraints will result in a full-blown contagion overwhelming the county’s medical capability.
-Mark Gutglueck

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