‘There is no shortage of food’: S.B. County officials reassure public, announce drive-through testing center

San Bernardino County officials addressed the public Wednesday, hoping to reassure residents one day after announcing the first coronavirus-related death in the county.

Fourth District Supervisor Curt Hagman began by announcing there is plenty of food and asked people to only buy what is needed.

“There is no shortage of food. … We’re in the warehouse capital of the West Coast here,” Hagman said.

It was also announced that the county’s first drive-through testing center would be opening soon.

The tests would be administered by appointment only. Anyone wanting a test must first fill out a form to request an appointment.

More information on how to sign up will be made available on the county’s COVID-19 website at 8 a.m. Thursday, county health Director Trudy Raymundo said at the news conference.

A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputy who earlier tested positive for COVID-19 is now symptom-free and recovering, Sheriff John McMahon said.

His department has seen fewer individuals booked into jail, presumably due to a small number of people committing crime on the street, the sheriff said.

He added that the agency will adjust its practices as needed during the outbreak.

On Tuesday, it was announced that a 50-year-old man with underlying health conditions was the first person to die from COVID-19 in San Bernardino County.

The county also confirmed an additional seven COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 38.

“Everyone should assume that anyone could have COVID-19 and unintentionally infect others. Therefore, we are appealing to everyone who possibly can to stay safe at home,” San Bernardino County acting Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson stated in Tuesday’s news release.

No change in the number of COVID-19 cases were announced Wednesday morning but the numbers are expected to go up with more testing, Raymundo said.

The first confirmed COVID-19 case in San Bernardino County was reported on March 15.

On March 19, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a state wide stay-at-home order with exceptions for acquiring vital goods or going to an essential job.