Coronavirus Infection Rate Escalating To Unwieldy Levels Countywide

The COVID-19 crisis in San Bernardino County has escalated to an unparalleled level, according to county health officials.
As of today, the coronavirus outbreak is at the most critical stage the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health outlines in its monitoring of the disease’s progression throughout the county’s population, designating the contagion as widespread, which exceeds that of substantial, moderate and minimal on the four-tier ranking the county uses. Since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic there have been 174,091 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county, of which 145,276 have been resolved. County health officials say 1,420 deaths have been attributed to the virus.
With regard to the latter statistic, skeptics have claimed that local healthcare entities such as hospitals and medical centers have inflated that number because of augmentation funding they receive from the government for dealing with COVID-19-related fatalities. This has resulted, those critics say, in officials attributing deaths to the condition in circumstances when the virus was only a correlated and not an underlying cause of death.
According to San Bernardino County’s website’s informational feed, known as the County Wire, as of Wednesday, December 23, there were 170,855 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which was characterized as “up 1.5 percent from the previous day.” The Wire also reported that as of Wednesday, December 23, there were 1,407 deaths, which was “up 1.4 percent from the previous day. Thus, between Wednesday and today, there were 13 deaths, and 3,246 more confirmed cases of the contagion making the rounds in the county. That appears to be a minor respite from the serious advance of the malady that took place between December 14 and December 21 inclusive, when 134 deaths of county residents were attributed to the disease. That included 52 deaths over a 48-hour period on December 19 and 20. Deaths wholly or partially attributable to COVID-19 in San Bernardino County reached their apex on December 16, when 63 people died. As of December 21, a total of 1,375 county residents had perished from the disease from the onset of the outbreak in February 2020. Thus, over the last four days, 55 deaths from the coronavirus had been recorded in four days, a clip of thirteen-and-a-half people per day. This represents a weekly average of 94.5 deaths. The second-highest number of COVID-19-related fatalities in a single week in the county was during the seven days of August 2 to August 9, inclusive, when 129 people died.
A silver lining in the grim COVID-19 statistics is that at this point, an ostensible total of 134,337 county residents have recovered during the same period, and 1,526,935 tests have been administered. The 1,526,935 residents tested is tantamount to 69.4 percent of the county’s roughly 2.2 million population. What is unclear is the degree to which some of the 1,526,935 tests administered were ones provided to residents who had previously been tested.
Early in the coronavirus pandemic, county medical and public health officials were turning away by the thousands county residents who were seeking tests. It is unknown, exactly, what percentage of those remain untested and how many of those have given up on seeking testing, despite calls by public health officials for the entire county population to submit to COVID-19 testing, given the fashion in which those residents were previously frustrated in their efforts to have their COVID-19 status determined.
The county’s rise in COVID-19 infection rates, which includes both seven and 14-day records in new cases reported, with 36,154 and 56,017 cases from December 14 until December 21 and from December 7 until December 21, respectively, is an indication that the crisis is reaching a crescendo, according to public health officials.
A possibility exists that the infection rate may reach 50 percent of the county’s population before a significant enough percentage of the population receives inoculations of the coronavirus vaccine, which public health officials have said will alleviate the crisis. Inoculations are to be given in two phases, with an initial injection followed by a booster within 21 to 28 days, depending upon the vaccine’s formula and manufacturer. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the vaccine becomes effective roughly two weeks after the first dose is administered.
Reports have reached the Sentinel, unverified as of press time, that there has been some degree of favoritism in how the inoculations have been allotted locally, and that the prioritization of providing the vaccine first to healthcare professionals and then the eldest and most vulnerable elements of the county’s population has been violated in favor of providing the first dosages of the preventative medicine to those of political standing in the community.
As of Wednesday, the last time at which data for the relevant categories was available, the number of people hospitalized with the virus or suspected cases of the virus countywide was 1,749, and the number of those in intensive care units either confirmed as suffering with the virus or suspected of having contracted the virus was 336.
All but one intensive care unit bed in the county was filled as of that time, with patients suffering from the coronavirus as well as those under care for other life-threatening conditions.

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