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Frequently Asked Questions

Latest news regarding COVID-19

Information about the County’s battle against COVID-19 and its efforts to help businesses reopen is being reported almost daily. To get the latest news, visit the News Release page here.  Better yet, you can sign up to receive the County’s short e-newsletter here and receive it in your in-box. The County also maintains a COVID-19 dashboard with regularly updated information on the scope of the disease. You can access the dashboard here.

In addition to the “essential services” businesses that never closed, following are categories now permitted to open (with restrictions):

  • Hair salons, barber shops
  • Personal services (nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms, therapeutic massage)
  • Religious services
  • Restaurants (pick-up/take-out, delivery only)
  • Food trucks
  • Retail
  • Healthcare services
  • Hospitality services
  • Hotels (for leisure and tourism)
  • Limited services (plumbers, appliance repair, pet grooming, janitorial, etc.)
  • Offices
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Child care
  • Short-term rentals and campground

On July 1, Governor Gavin Newsom announced immediate mandated restrictions on certain indoor business operations in 19 California counties, including the County of San Bernardino, which have been on a watch list for COVID-19 outbreaks. The following indoor operations are to be CLOSED:

  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Bars
  • Wineries, breweries and tasting rooms
  • Movie theaters
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Card rooms
  • Zoos and museums

The following remain CLOSED:

  • Community centers
  • Group campsites
  • Entertainment venues
  • Playgrounds
  • Theme parks

On June 18, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that face coverings are now required in the state of California. The California Department of Public Health released guidance on June 18, 2020. https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR20-128.aspx

Secular weddings are permitted to the same parameters as religious and following that guidance even in a non-religious venue.

Wedding ceremonies (religious or non-religious) are permitted following the Place of Worship guidance https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf.

Indoor venues are limited to 25% of capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Outdoor venues are limited by their natural limits depending on the size of the space that permits the distancing required.

Wedding receptions/parties are not permitted at this time.

When larger gatherings and receptions will be permitted will depend on public health metrics and cannot be predicted in advance. Please continue to follow the reopening of the state here https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/#top.

In-person higher education should remain closed statewide, except where supporting essential workforce activities, including but not limited to providing housing solutions, COVID-19 response, and training and instruction for the essential workforce. 

See your college or university’s COVID-19 response:

CORONAVIRUS and COVID-19: THE BASICS

Coronaviruses are a group of related RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the viruses cause respiratory infections that range from mild to lethal. We currently are dealing with the “novel coronavirus,” which is officially labeled SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Symptoms may appear within 2 to 14 days after exposure. Symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, largely between people who are in close contact with one another (i.e., within about 6 feet).  Respiratory droplets are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or sings; these droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of nearby people or even be inhaled into the lungs. The droplets may also land on hard surfaces (such as countertops and door handles) and then be transmitted to humans when such surfaces are touched.

Studies suggest that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are asymptomatic — that is, someone who show no symptoms of the disease. That’s why wearing masks is so important: a mask can help prevent the spread of the virus from people who have no idea they’re infected.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, aches, a cough or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider before seeking care.  Do not simply show up at your doctor’s office, which might put others at risk. Your doctor or other healthcare provider can advise you regarding next steps, which might include arranging a COVID-19 test.

You should also take the following precautionary measures: avoid contact with sick individuals and wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. You can use the CDC Self-Checker as a guide to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.

People who are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness include:

  • Older adults (approximately 80% of COVID-19 related deaths are to people age 65 and older)
  • Individuals with compromised immune systems
  • Individuals who have serious chronic medical conditions, including:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Chronic lung disease
    • Kidney disease
    • Liver Disease
    • Obesity

It is especially important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease if your age or health condition put you at higher risk for serious illness.

There currently is no treatment specifically approved for this virus. Among those who have tested positive for COVID-19, approximately 20% have symptoms that require hospitalization. While hospitals cannot “cure” COVID-19 patients, they can provide supportive care to help moderate patients’ symptoms. Because there is no treatment for COVID-19 at this time, it is important to learn how to protect yourself and prevent the spread of the disease.

  • Maintain Social Distancing. Social distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow the spread of contagious diseases. It requires the creation of physical space between individuals, including an effort to minimize group gatherings as much as possible, and tactics to create space between individuals when events or activities cannot be modified, postponed, or canceled. Most experts believe that maintaining approximately six feet of space between individuals will help stem the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Wear a cloth face cover when leaving your home or when it is impossible or impractical to maintain social distancing.
  • Clean your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect. Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are visibly dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

All public testing locations are now open to any resident, regardless of whether or not they are experiencing current symptoms.  The County has established several stationary or “walk-up” testing sites, which are open Monday through Friday (by appointment only).  For up-to-the-minute information on testing sites, please see our community testing page here.

Call the San Bernardino County Health Center at (800) 722-4777. Do not go to the Health Center without calling first. The Health Center staff will ask personal information to determine your options for testing or care based on self-reported symptoms and other criteria.

You also should check to see if you’re eligible for either Medi-Cal or Covered California.

To provide more testing opportunities for San Bernardino County residents, the County has established community drive-through and walk-up testing events in a variety of convenient locations. Samples that can either be collected by public health professionals or self-administered are then sent to a laboratory for COVID-19 testing. Events are free of charge and do not require health insurance. To see all upcoming community drive-through testing events in San Bernardino County, click here.

Please remember, even if you are not showing symptoms of COVID-19, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment for both COVID-19 and serology (antibody) testing.

Employers cannot ask for a negative COVID-19 test result due to HIPAA regulations.

The County does not provide documentation containing lab results for drive-through or walk-up/stationary testing. Residents must create a patient portal on LabCorp to access their results and can print them directly from the portal. If you need documentation in order to return to work, provide your primary care doctor with your test result and ask him or her to write you a return to work release.

Business Reopening

We are seeing a significant reemergence of San Bernardino County businesses, as dine-in restaurants, stores, shopping malls, hair salons and barbershops have begun reopening following a state-ordered shutdown lasting more than two months.

Businesses that reopen have agreed to adhere to County and state safety guidelines, including those in the County’s Readiness and Reopening Plan, as well as industry-specific guidelines proposed by the state, that can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance.     

The County also announced the reopening of places of worship. Churches, synagogues, mosques and other institutions are now able to resume to resume in-person services (including funerals) if attendance is limited to 100 attendees or 25 percent of a building’s capacity, whichever is less.

State-issued guidance for religious services and cultural ceremonies can be found here.

The County has developed a Readiness and Reopening Plan detailing the status of its efforts to combat the coronavirus and a series of guidelines to help businesses reopen safely.  Click here for more information: https://bit.ly/2M98JyA

The Partnership is a new program that will provide $30 million in funding to help small businesses offset some of the costs needed to meet public health guidelines when reopening.

The COVID Compliant Business Partnership Program provides $2,500 grants to local companies that meet County and State safety and health guidelines. Participating businesses will be issued a window sign noting that “This Business Partner is COVID Compliant” — offering reassurance to employees and customers that their health is a priority. 

The County estimates the program will assist 12,000 local businesses, with money being issued to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are exhausted.  To be eligible for participation in the Partnership, a business must have been located in San Bernardino County for at least two years, have between one and 100 employees, and be current on property tax payments. Nonprofit organizations with storefronts are eligible for the program. A key County priority is to help companies that have not received support from either the state or the federal government.

Businesses that are too new or too large for the funding can still participate and receive a window sign.

Certain businesses are not eligible for the program, including race tracks, gambling facilities, adult entertainment, insurance companies, lenders, financial and investment companies, home-based businesses, and nonprofits lacking a storefront. 

The application deadline is August 31, 2020.

INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC GUIDELINES (California)

The state of California has developed a series of handbooks designed to offer guidance to businesses seeking to reopen safely. The free handbooks are tailored to address the specific needs of distinct industries.

Agriculture and Livestock https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-agriculture.pdf

Auto Dealerships https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-auto-dealerships.pdf

Child Care https://www.cdss.ca.gov/Portals/9/CCLD/PINs/2020/CCP/PIN_20-06-CCP.pdf

Communications Infrastructure https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-communications.pdf

Construction https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-construction.pdf

Delivery Services https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-delivery-services.pdf

Energy and Utilities https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-energy.pdf

Food Packing and Processing https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-food-packing.pdf

Hotels and Lodging https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-hotels.pdf

Life Sciences https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-life-sciences.pdf

Limited Services https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-limited-services.pdf

Logistics and Warehousing https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-logistics-warehousing.pdf

Manufacturing https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-manufacturing.pdf

Mining and Logging https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-mining-logging.pdf

Outdoor Museums and Galleries https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-outdoor-museums.pdf

Office Workspaces https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-office-workspaces.pdf

Places of Worship https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf

Public Transit https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-transit-rail.pdf

Real Estate Transactions https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-real-estate.pdf

Retail https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-retail.pdf

Shopping Malls https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-shopping-centers.pdf

Businesses can fill out this form: https://bit.ly/sbcbusinesstesting. If there are further questions, please call (909) 252-4406.

 Guidelines for cleaning after COVID-19 exposure can be found on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html.

Parks & Recreation

Recognizing the important role being outdoor plays in our overall health, the County of San Bernardino has opened County-operated parks and lakes and is allowing city- and privately-owned parks, lakes, trails, and golf courses to open on a limited scale for passive recreation. Please check with individual facilities regarding hours of operations and any special restrictions or guidelines.

Passive recreation involves those activities one can engage in while maintaining a proper distance from others. Examples include such activities as birdwatching, walking, hiking, running, biking and boating, as well as non-contact sports like golf or tennis.

All San Bernardino County residents, of course. However, to avoid overcrowding and maintain social distancing, we are asking that nearby Southern California residents (temporarily) stay within the boundaries of their respective counties and delay any visits to our outdoor recreation areas.

All facilities are expected to maintain appropriate safety practices, including social distancing, requiring face coverings when in proximity to other people, frequent handwashing and the cleaning and disinfecting of common areas. Facilities open to the public must post signage advising visitors that social distancing and face coverings are required.

  • Outdoor amphitheaters
  • Group camping with members outside your household
  • Amusement parks or carnivals
  • Outdoor conference centers
  • Playgrounds
  • Picnic/BBQ areas
  • Basketball courts and baseball/softball/soccer fields for team activities
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Rock climbing
  • Skateboarding (where allowed)
  • Tennis, pickleball and racquetball (where allowed, and only by those who share a household)
  • Wildlife observation
  • Parking in parking lots for passive recreation activity
  • Off-road and dirt trails for hiking, biking and 4-wheel drive vehicles
  • Horseback riding
  • Hang gliding

Dog parks are also now open.

  • Boating (motor boats, canoeing, kayaking where allowed; passengers should be limited to household members)
  • Boat-rentals and other outdoor rentals including kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are allowed. (Those renting are asked to limit participation to immediate household members only.)
  • Parasailing
  • Water skiing
  • Fishing (by boat and by shore)
  • Swimming with household members only, maintaining 6 feet distance for others

Golf courses are now open. The following rules apply:

  • Players must bring their own clubs
  • Players are not allowed to touch flagsticks.
  • Practice putting greens and practice chipping greens will not have holes, but be limited to positioned stakes players can target.
  • Players who choose to rent a cart will be limited to one person per cart (unless riders are limited to household members). Cart keys and carts will be disinfected after each round.
  • Driving range stations will be a minimum of six feet apart. Range balls must be disinfected before being made available to customers.
  • Golf tournaments and other fund-raising events are not permitted.

Operators of recreational areas, including golf courses, shall monitor activity and advise those who are not complying with safe practices to do so. If compliance cannot be achieved, facilities will be closed

Most organized activities and sports such as basketball, baseball, soccer, and football that are held on park fields, open areas, and courts are not permitted to the extent that they require coaches and athletes who are not from the same household or living unit to be in close proximity, which increases their potential for exposure to COVID-19. Activities like ballet and karate can continue as long as they remain as non-contact within a fitness studio. Further guidelines can be found here.

The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health is following state guidelines with regard to youth sports. At this time recreational team and youth sports of any kind, including purposes of conditioning, drills and exercise activities are not permitted.

The state has allowed day camps and has guidelines available but has not allowed overnight camps to re-open yet.
For guidance on day camps visit https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-daycamps.pdf.

Resources and Assistance

A variety of resources for businesses and individuals can be found here: https://wp.sbcounty.gov/workforce/business-services/resources-available/

In addition, the following websites offer information you might find useful:

Information on the CARES Act can be found here:  https://bit.ly/3eozriG

There are a variety of resources specifically designed to help seniors during this crisis. Seniors can call the Adult Protective Services hotline at (877) 565-2020 and have a specialist help determine the best assistance options. There are specific age requirements for services: individuals must be 65 and older, or 18-65 dependent adults and at risk for severe neglect or abuse. Callers to 211 are directed to this program.

Great Plates Delivered

The San Bernardino County’s “Great Plates Delivered” program, under the leadership of the Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), is part of a larger collaborative effort teaming the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with the state of California, local governments and local restaurants. The program calls for local food providers to prepare and deliver three nutritious meals a day to eligible residents — adults age 65 and older who meet the following criteria:

  • Seniors who have been exposed to the coronavirus, or are at high risk due to pre-existing health conditions;
  • Living alone or with one other program-eligible adult;
  • Not currently receiving assistance from other federal nutrition assistance programs; and
  • Living below 600% of the federal poverty limit.

DAAS, which is working with the Office of Emergency Services, 2-1-1 San Bernardino County, the Joint Information Center and other departments, have been in contact with local restaurants to assess their interest and ability to participate.

DAAS is now also recruiting volunteers to help deliver the meals. Restaurants and drivers interested in helping should contact Mary Bernal at mary.bernal@hss.sbccounty.gov. The group has also established an information hotline at (888) 743-1485 for County residents only.

Free Box Fans Available to Seniors for Heat Relief

The Department of Aging and Adult Services has a limited amount of box fans (many of them donated by Molina Healthcare) available for free to eligible seniors throughout the County.

Other Programs for Seniors

The County Senior Information and Assistance (SIA) program provides information, referrals, and assistance to help senior citizens solve problems they may have. Help is available daily from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Senior Information & Assistance Program
(800) 510-2020

Barstow SIA
(760) 256-3564

Morongo Basin/Yucca Valley SIA
(760) 228-5219

Needles SIA
(760) 326-9224

Rancho Cucamonga SIA
(909) 948-6235

San Bernardino SIA
(909) 891-3810

Victorville SIA
(760) 243-8459

The County Community Development and Housing Department has created a website that addresses a variety of housing concerns, including potential conflicts between landlords and tenants. Please check the website for more details: http://sbcountycdha.com/community-development-and-housing-department/housing-resources/

Any questions and inquires can be directed to:

Landlord-tenant Landlord tenant: landlordtenant@sb-court.org

Small claims & Landlord – Tenant: (909) 708-8606

Eviction Moratorium

Fair Housing FAQ

If you need to begin behavioral health services, please call the County Department of Behavioral Health access line at (888) 743-1478.

Individuals with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information and resources can be found on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.

The Disaster Distress Helpline is available 24 hours a day and is answered by trained crisis counselors who can support you or someone you care about who may be feeling distress related to COVID-19. Call (800) 985-5990 or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

Local crisis services are available by the County Department of Behavioral Health at wp.sbcounty.gov/dbh/crisis-services. You may also call the Community Response Team that is in your area, open every day from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.:

West Valley (Covering Fontana to Chino Hills)
(909) 458-1517

East Valley (Covering Yucaipa, Redlands, Loma Linda, Colton, San Bernardino, Bloomington, East Fontana)
(909) 421-9233

High Desert (Covering Victorville, Hesperia, Apple Valley, Phelan, Adelanto, Lucerne Valley, Barstow)
(760) 956-2345

Morongo Basin
(760) 499-4429