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Coronavirus: Phase 2 businesses in San Bernardino County begin reopening Friday

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. –– The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors late Thursday announced some businesses can start to re-open today. These include what Gov. Gavin Newsom has termed Phase 2 businesses.

Phase 1 has been essential businesses, which were never required to be closed. The early phase of Phase 2 starting today are “lower risk” workplaces, including but not limited to bookstores, jewelry stores, clothing and shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, antique stores, music stores, and florists. To start, reopening efforts should be phased in, starting first with curbside pickup until further notice.

Supply chains supporting the above businesses can also open under this early stage of Phase 2, specifically in the manufacturing and logistics sectors.

All businesses will need to modify operations to reduce contact, ensure proper distancing, and ensure proper PPE and sanitation equipment for all employees, preferably with outdoor breakrooms and physically distant seating.

When businesses eventually open their doors to patrons, a workplace should restrict entry to 25 percent capacity and slowly advance from there as health indicators are evaluated.

“This is a key step in reopening our economy responsibly and safely,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “By beginning with mostly curbside operations for early Phase 2 businesses, we are giving business owners an opportunity to begin the process of ramping up their operations and ramping up our economy while ensuring the safety of their employees and patrons.”

As we proceed into the second stage of Phase 2, workplaces in additional sectors will open. Timing for this will be evaluated and announced as early as next week, and could include:

  • Destination retail, including shopping malls and swap meets
  • Offices, with physical distancing (although telework is still being encouraged)
  • Seated dining at restaurants, but with physical distancing
  • Personal services (not requiring close proximity with patrons), such as car washes and pet grooming.
  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Schools and childcare facilities
  • Outdoor museums and open gallery spaces

The ability to continue opening workplaces in Phase 2, and eventually higher risk Phase 3 businesses, will rely on several criteria. First, businesses must demonstrate their adherence to safety and social distancing guidelines. Second, county residents should also continue to practice accepted safety guidelines, such as the use of face coverings, six-foot distancing, and frequent hand washing.

Third, and most importantly, is the county must continue to demonstrate a flattening curve.

Combined COVID positive and suspected cases must continue to go down (COVID positive has been relatively flat for the past month). Hospitalizations and ICU utilization have been well below projections. The use of ventilators has remained stable, and our hospitals still have significant capacity to accommodate a surge.

“We are confident that our residents and business owners will recognize that keeping the rate of COVID-19 cases and related deaths flat is a shared responsibility,” said Hagman. “We have it within our collective ability to act responsibility, whether you are working in a store or looking to visit one. We are asking all our residents to please respect safe distances and wear face coverings when indoors around other people. If we can support one another during this reopening, we can thrive within this new normal.”

High-risk individuals, and anyone who is sick, should continue to follow strict safe-at-home guidelines until further notice.

More information on the County’s plan to reopen will be shared daily, beginning with the County’s weekly video briefing via Facebook Live today at 11 a.m.

(SB County Wire news release)

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Helicopter lands on Amethyst Road for woman involved in crash

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) A woman was airlifted with critical injuries following a crash late Friday night.

At 11:30 p.m., the Victorville Fire Department, deputies from the Victorville Police Department, and two American Medical Response (AMR) ambulances were dispatched to the intersection of Amethyst and La Mesa Roads for reports of a head-on crash.

– Photo Credit: Travis Dixon.

Upon arrival, firefighters located two vehicles with major damage; a gray 2018 Toyota Camry and a dark-colored sedan with a woman still trapped inside.

Firefighters extricated the woman from the vehicle and requested a helicopter to land near the scene to transport her to a trauma center.

The Camry sustained major front-end damage. – Photo credit: Travis Dixon.

The driver of the Camry, Jaalen “Jay” Thompson, told Victor Valley News that he was traveling westbound on La Mesa Road on a green light when he was struck by the dark sedan that was traveling southbound on Amethyst Road.

Although Thompson did not sustain major injuries, his girlfriend who is pregnant was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation.

“The dark colored sedan ran the red light and smacked my car,” Thompson stated, “She was also pregnant.”

The intersection was closed while authorities investigated the crash.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time. – Photo Credit: Julio Solano.

As of 12:30 a.m. Saturday, the intersection was reopened.

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State and San Bernardino County OK resumption of youth sports – with restrictions

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The State Department of Public Health has issued long-anticipated guidance allowing youth sports and physical education – including school-based, club, and recreational programs – to resume, as long as they are limited to groups of participants who regularly gather, such as a class or organized team, and only when physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.

Activities should take place outside to the maximum extent possible.

Sporting events, assemblies, and other activities that require close contact or that would promote congregating, such as tournaments and competitions, are not yet permitted either indoors or outdoors.

“This is an opportunity for young people to stay healthy, stay in shape, and be ready when the State allows team and other group activities to resume,” said San Bernardino County Public Health Director Corwin Porter. The County Health Officer has approved implementation of the guidance within San Bernardino County.

(San Bernardino County Health news release)

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18-year-old U.S. Army Reservist Stationed at Ft. Irwin arrested on child porn charges

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FORT IRWIN, Calif. (VVNG.com) — An 18-year-old reserve with the United States Army National Guard stationed at Fort Irwin was arrested for possession of child pornography Wednesday, officials said.

Detectives from multiple agencies conducted a joint investigation involving the suspect, Neal McCoy, a resident of Fridley, Minnesota, and subsequently arrested him on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

McCoy was booked at the High Desert Detention Center for PC 311.11(A) Possession of Child Pornography with a bail set at $100,000. McCoy is scheduled for arraignment on August 7th.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Specialized Investigations Division Crimes Against Children Detail (CAC), Barstow Sheriff’s Station, and the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) worked together in their investigation.

In January 2020, VVNG reported on similar arrests after Steven Berg, 38, was arrested by investigators who determined that child pornography was distributed from a home within the base at Fort Irwin.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Brian Arias of the Specialized Investigations Division, Crimes Against Children Detail at (909) 387-3615. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

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