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CDC issues new guidelines as San Bernardino gets first case of COVID-19

This transmission electron microscope image shows the coronavirus virus that causes COVID-19. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made a new recommendation on their website that events with more than 50 people should be cancelled or postponed for the next eight weeks.

The announcement was made on the CDC’s website on Sunday, where they explain that it does not apply to places of business, schools, or places for higher education. This has led to the creation of several directives by governors limiting gatherings across the United States.

As of now, Governor Gavin Newsom hasn’t made any adjustments to his current order to postpone or cancel mass gatherings larger than 250 people, which coincides with the original recommendation by the CDC.

However, some counties across California have been ordering events cancelled themselves. San Mateo County has banned gatherings of more than 50 people and placed limits on those of more than 10 people, the L.A. Times reported. Santa Clara County restricted meetings of over 35 people and banned gatherings of over 100 people, according to the Times.

Meanwhile, the first case of the COVID-19 virus has been reported in the San Bernardino county — a 53 year old woman who had visited London earlier this week, according to the Victorville Daily Press.

The case was first reported in Fontana, where she was reported to have submitted herself into the Kaiser emergency department on Thursday and was tested positive on Sunday. The UK’s number of cases of COVID-19 has risen from 232 to 1,372 and the number of deaths having risen to 35, according to the Telegraph.

“The health risk from COVID-19 to the general public in San Bernardino County remains low at this time, but everyone is strongly urged to engage in practices that reduce the risk of spread,” said a statement by Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson.

San Bernardino declared a state of emergency last Tuesday before any cases of COVID-19 were discovered.

“We’re going to do a lot more things to make sure we stay as safe as possible,” Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Curt Hagman said in an interview with The San Bernardino Sun.

A state of emergency provides the government with powers to more quickly respond to problems, and may trigger anti-price gouging laws.

A reminder to the general public from the CDC of ways to reduce chances of infection, including increased hand washing, social distancing and reduced social contact altogether.

Even young and healthy citizens should follow guidelines to keep at-risk friends and family safe. The groups at the highest risk are older adults and those with preexisting health conditions such as heart disease and lung disease.

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