COVID-19 cases remain high since the beginning of the new year. Every day, in the counties of San Bernardino and Riverside, the numbers are increasing in positive results, along with the number of deaths. A new and potentially more contagious variant of COVID-19 has also been reported.

On Monday, Jan. 4, San Bernardino County joined Los Angeles County as the only counties in the state to top 200,000 in confirmed COVID-19 cases. In data from Jan. 3, San Bernardino County had 208,271 positive cases, including 1,332 that day, according to covid19.ca.gov, the state’s website.

There have also been 1,447 COVID-19 related deaths in San Bernardino County, including two on Jan. 3.

In Riverside County, the numbers aren’t much better. In data from Jan. 3, Riverside County had 195,031 positive cases, including 2,962 from that day. Although there have been 1,985 COVID-19 related deaths in Riverside County, none were reported on Jan. 3.

On the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health website, the county is asking that everyone be vigilant to help the most vulnerable.

“The changes we have had to make to routines and daily life are extremely hard, but we must stop the spread with all the steps we have learned over the last year - wearing a mask; distancing; washing our hands and getting tested,” states the website.

Like most of the state, San Bernardino and Riverside counties remain in the widespread, purple tier, with regional stay-home orders. As of Jan. 3, there were 2,420,894 positive cases in California, including 29,633 from just that day, while deaths related to COVID-19 were at 26,635, with 97 that day, according to the state’s website.

In Yucaipa alone there have been 3,811 cases and 53 deaths from COVID-19, as of Jan. 4, according to the county website.

Calimesa, also as of Jan. 4, has seen 664 positive cases and six deaths, in statistics on the Riverside County Public Health Department website.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart to lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Exposure is more likely to happen by being within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes.

Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Some of the most common symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. The CDC continues to update the list of symptoms as more are discovered about the virus.

If the virus is present, seek emergency care treatments if you or someone you live with is having trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, have bluish lips or face.

Monitor your health daily

Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath or other COVID-19 symptoms. This is especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of six feet.

Take your temperature if symptoms develop, but not within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.

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