Testing

San Bernardino County residents are receiving COVID-19 testing kits as a way to help reduce the threat of the Omicron variant.

The number of new COVID-19 cases continued to rise as students returned to school in the Fontana Unified School District following their winter break.

All of the students in the district were scheduled to receive a “Rapid Result COVID Test Kit” as part of a statewide effort to combat the ongoing Omicron threat, which has been more easily transmissible than other variants.

Health officials are urging all eligible residents to get vaccinated for the virus. In addition, the state has mandated that everyone must wear a mask in indoor public spaces and workplaces. This order will remain in effect through Feb. 15.

In Fontana, a total of 52,196 residents have been infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic began nearly two years ago, according to a report by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health on Jan. 11. There have been 646 COVID-19 deaths in Fontana.

Within the boundaries of the FUSD, there have been 5,831 cases of coronavirus reported among children (ages 5-19).

Overall in San Bernardino County, a total of 409,871 cases have been confirmed as of Jan. 11, a sharp increase from the 400,972 that had been reported one week before.

The number of deaths in the county is 6,113. Because of the vaccines, far fewer people are dying from COVID-19 now than during the height of the huge surge in January of 2021. Since Feb. 1 of last year, the number of fatal cases with known vaccination status has been 106 for fully vaccinated persons but 930 for people who are not fully vaccinated.

Hospitalizations are increasing rapidly in the county and have now reached their highest level since last winter.

----- TESTING sites are continuing to see long lines.

“County-facilitated testing sites continue to operate at a high capacity in all parts of the county with extended hours of operation,” the county said in a news release on Jan. 7.

County-run sites alone have been testing an average of 7,000 to 8,000 residents each day, the news release said.

In Fontana, the Jessie Turner Center at 15556 Summit Avenue offers COVID-19 tests Monday through Friday from noon to 8 p.m.

Other nearby testing sites operated by the county:

• Ayala Park Community Center, 18313 Valley Boulevard in Bloomington, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• RC Family Resource Center, 9791 Arrow Route in Rancho Cucamonga, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Carl Johnson Center, 214 N. Palm Avenue in Rialto, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

All county-operated testing sites now provide free over-the-counter (OTC) antigen test kits to individuals who live or work in the county (proof of residency or employment required). OTC antigen test kits offer results in as little as 10 minutes. Each kit contains two tests. There is a limit of one test kit per person.

The county is now partnering with non-profit organizations, community-based agencies, government agencies, cities, private schools and nursing homes to provide the OTC kits to ensure that there is greater availability throughout the county.

The county encourages residents to visit one of the county test sites if they are having trouble finding test kits elsewhere. Residents can visit sbcovid19.com/rapidtest to find online or local retail options.

“Please do not visit an Emergency Room or Urgent Care for COVID-19 testing unless you are experiencing severe or worsening symptoms,” the county said.

----- THE FUSD is also offering testing for the general public.

During the week of Jan. 3-7, when schools were still not in session, the line for testing remained constant from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the wait time was about 1-2 hours, said Michael Garcia, the public information officer for the FUSD.

This week (Jan. 11-14), the district resumed its regular extended hours and reopened the middle and high school testing locations to accommodate the returning students and staff, as well as the public, Garcia said.

FUSD students and employees can register for testing at www.testfontana.com. Community members who are not FUSD students or employees may register for testing at https://www.covidclinic.org/fusd/

“Fontana Unified School District remains committed to supporting the health and well-being of our students, employees and families,” FUSD Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “As COVID-19 cases continue to rise this winter, we urge our students and families to take precautions to stay healthy and remind our students to stay home if they are sick.”

The district will also continue to provide access to additional COVID-19 resources, such as continuing to follow safety protocols across district campuses, informing the district community of opportunities to get vaccinated, and more. To view these resources, including the district’s COVID-19 safety plan, visit https://www.fusd.net/coronavirus.

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