COVID-19 Highlights from Chairman Hagman

Chairman Hagman Newsletter

A Message From The Chairman

Until now, San Bernardino County has done an exceptional job of flattening the curve. From what we can tell, the recent significant increase in cases can be tied to gatherings held over the holidays, re-openings, protests, enhanced testing, and a general complacency with COVID. We have found that the majority of gatherings are being held with relaxed precautions. As a whole, we have not been practicing social distancing and wearing our masks. This hurts us in many ways and puts us at a huge risk; we need to be vigilant. 



County Cases, Hospitalizations See Troublesome Increase

This week, the number of COVID-19 cases in San Bernardino County passed 10,000 and our County reported its highest one-day case increase. We’re seeing increased positivity rates and increased hospitalizations with fewer intensive care hospital beds available from previous weeks.

And like the rest of California, we’re seeing increases in cases among our younger populations. These stats have unfortunately returned our County to the state’s watch list of counties that have seen case and hospitalization increases.

Our hospitals have ICU and medical surgical beds with remaining capacity, but at the rate of growth being experienced, preparation for a surge is underway. So the time is NOW to reverse this trend, and get back to numbers that fall within acceptable levels.

Testing is for everyone

With any communicable disease outbreak – like COVID-19 – testing is critical to slowing the spread.

Testing leads to quick identification of cases, quick treatment for those people who are diagnosed positive, and immediate isolation to keep someone from unwittingly spreading the virus. Early testing also helps to identify anyone who came into contact with infected people so they too can be quickly treated.

The County is encouraging all residents, including those who have experienced no symptoms of COVID-19, to be tested for the coronavirus. Data is showing that a significant proportion of those infected with the virus are asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms of the disease. Because of this, virtually anyone could spread the disease to others. That’s why EVERYONE needs to get tested.

This weekend, we have added five more testing locations to the more than two dozen sites available throughout the County. While no prescription or doctor order is necessary, you do need to make an appointment. Please review the list of testing locations and times at our testing webpage located at


County Adopts Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis

This week, San Bernardino became the first county in California to adopt a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis.

The issue of racism as a public health crisis came to the forefront following the global response to the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the impact of COVID-19 on the Black community and discussions with local community advocates.

The resolution states that racism results in disparities in family stability, health and mental wellness, education, employment, economic development, public safety, criminal justice and housing.

“Thanks to the partnership and support of several community members and organizations, my colleagues and I became the first county in California to declare racism as a public health crisis, and I sincerely hope we are not the last,” said Chairman Curt Hagman. “Through today’s action, we built a foundation for positive change throughout our County and encourage our 24 cities to join us.”

San Bernardino County statistics show:

  • The infant mortality rate within our Black population is more than double the rate for the County as a whole.
  • Black people account for less than 9 percent of our population but almost 19 percent of County jail bookings and 38 percent of the bookings into juvenile detention facilities.
  • More than 21 percent of our homeless population is Black.
  • Only 17 percent of the County’s Black students are proficient in math, compared to more than 31 percent of all students.
  • The college and career readiness rate is 44 percent for all students but is only 30 percent for Black students; meanwhile, suspension and expulsion rates for Black students are more than twice the respective rates for all students.

The Board also directed County staff to form a new Equity Element Group to promote and increase equity. Once formed, the Equity Element Group would be comprised of community members and experts in healthcare, education, economic development, law and justice, and other fields to create a path toward promoting and increasing equity within the county.

“I urge everyone involved in this monumental opportunity for change to think big,” Supervisor Josie Gonzales said. “We want to bring all 24 of our cities on board. Let’s get everything we’ve got on the table and let’s make this new opportunity work.”

The County will actively participate in the dismantling of racism by:

  • Collaborating with the County’s law and justice agencies and the community to address public concerns related to law enforcement performance within San Bernardino County.
  • Promoting equity through policies to be considered by the Board of Supervisors and enhancing meaningful, thoughtful, and data-driven education efforts aimed at understanding, addressing, and dismantling racism.
  • Identifying specific activities to enhance diversity within the County Government workforce.
  • Advocating for relevant state and federal policies that improve health outcomes in communities of color.
  • Building and strengthening alliances with other organizations that are confronting racism, and encouraging other agencies to recognize racism as a crisis.
  • Supporting community efforts to amplify issues of racism and engage actively and authentically with communities of color throughout our County.
  • Studying and evaluating existing County policies and practices through a lens of racial equity to promote and support policies that prioritize health in an equitable way by mitigating exposure to adverse childhood experiences.
  • Encouraging each of the 24 incorporated cities and towns within San Bernardino County to also adopt resolutions affirming that racism is a public health crisis that results in disparities.

To read the resolution, click here.

In Case You Missed It...

Livestream Updates

If you weren't able to tune into our last livestream weekly update where I spoke about our latest stats and the alarming trend that San Bernardino County, our neighboring counties, the state of California and other states are experiencing across the nation, you can watch it on the County Facebook page.

What is Open and What’s Not Open … So Far

Your County Supervisors are working hard with state officials, neighboring counties and our own Recovery Coalition Team to safely and methodically reopen our local economy. We are in the early Phase 2 stage, which allows many of our businesses to open in a very limited fashion.

This transition time also allows business owners time to develop their own individual operational plans that will ensure employee safety, customer distancing and sanitation protocols, as well as industry specific guidelines that can be found here. Below is a graphic that summarizes where we stand as of today.

Want More COVID-19 Updates And Info?

Our dedicated communications team has put together an array of resources and information online related to COVID-19. The content ranges from COVID-19 case stats to resources for community members and businesses. Please be sure to check regularly for the latest updates.

SBCounty Together

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