SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — San Bernardino County Friday announced two additional confirmed cases of the COVID-19 variant first detected in the United Kingdom, bringing the total to four.
According to health officials, all four cases of the highly-contagious strain were detected in the Big Bear area — two in late December and two in mid-January — prompting a warning for residents and visitors to remain vigilant and refrain from gathering.READ MORE: Prosecutors Request That Most Charges Be Dropped In Sexual Assault Case Against Newport Beach Surgeon, Girlfriend
“Cold weather combined with the Super Bowl and optimal ski conditions will tempt many people to gather indoors this weekend,” Dr. Michael A. Sequiera, San Bernardino County health officer, said. “But the growing presence of this dangerous strain make it extremely important for everyone to avoid any situations that could lead to transmission of the virus.”
Health officials said the cases originated among members of one Big Bear-area household on Dec. 20 after one member of the house had contact with a person returning from the U.K. on Dec. 11 and started experiencing symptoms Dec. 14.READ MORE: Trader Joe's To Allow Fully-Vaccinated People To Shop Without A Mask
“The situation in the Big Bear area illustrates how easily and innocently these types of transmissions can occur,” Sequeira said. “That is why social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, and complying with health orders and guidance are so important to protecting our lives and the lives of those we love.”
On Friday, San Bernardino County reported 824 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 39 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 277,430 cases and 2,080 deaths. Of those who contracted the illness, 268,961 had recovered.
There were 906 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, 234 who were being treated in intensive care units — both decreases from Thursday.MORE NEWS: 2 LA Sheriff’s Detectives Involved In 2018 Drug Raid Indicted With Falsifying Police Report, Perjury
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 145 known cases of the variant in the state of California.