The horrible scourge of the coronavirus is continuing to have an awful impact on Fontana, and it's time for residents -- of all ages -- to do their best to stop this devastating plague in our city.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has skyrocketed in Fontana during the month of July, mirroring a trend that has been seen in most of California and many parts of the United States.

We need to immediately slow the rate of infections and then completely eradicate this disease so that we can regain full control of our lives.

San Bernardino County remains on California's Monitoring List, which restricts our ability to continue reopening our economy or allow our schools to provide in-person instruction, said Curt Hagman, chairman of the county's Board of Supervisors.

“Getting off the list requires us to show tangible success in reducing new positive cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions — and that requires strict compliance with various public health mandates," Hagman said.

These mandates should be familiar to everyone:

• Wear face coverings when in public.

• Practice social distancing.

These simple rules are annoying, but if we follow them faithfully, we will emerge from this crisis much sooner.

Fontana (and the county as a whole) had been making progress in "flattening the curve" up until the end of May, but since then, there has been an explosion of cases and an apparent willingness on the part of too many residents to not adhere to the important health guidelines.

Recently, the county reported that private gatherings have been the overwhelming reason why the number of cases has increased so dramatically in the local area. Contact tracers from the county interviewed 319 people who were infected with COVID-19, and 228 of them -- 71 percent -- had attended a family gathering.

It is important to remember that large gatherings with friends and extended family members are still prohibited under the state's stay-at-home order, and so we must resist the temptation to be involved in these types of events. The safest option for a family get-together remains a virtual gathering using digital tools such as Zoom or Facetime.

"It is foolish to endanger the lives of those you love the most," county health officials said.

Young people in particular need to heed this advice. The majority of confirmed coronavirus cases is coming from persons between the ages of 20 and 39, and 24.4 percent of the cases are between the ages of 10 and 19.

Now that we know the facts, let's all do our part. Anyone can get this disease, and so everyone should help stop its spread.

----- TESTING for the coronavirus is taking place inside the Jessie Turner Center, 15556 Summit Avenue in Fontana, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Testing is by appointment only. Appointments can be made by visiting sbcovid19.com.

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