Face coverings are no longer required – but still strongly recommended – in San Bernardino County as the result of new health order requested by the Board of Supervisors. The new order repeals the April 23 health order that required face coverings as well as social distancing at essential businesses, and banned gatherings and short-term rentals. Although no longer regulated by a county health order, gatherings and short-term rentals are still prohibited and social distancing at essential businesses are still required under the state’s “stay-at-home” order.


Governor Gavin Newsom

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued the broadest loosening of his stay-at-home order so far Thursday, allowing some retailers to reopen but not have customers in stores. The announcement was the result of improvement in battling the coronavirus and moves California into the second phase of a four-step process to full reopening. It covers only a sliver of retail businesses as well as manufacturers’ warehouses considered low risk for the virus. Stores that will be allowed to open with curbside service if they meet other safety requirements include bookstores, clothing stores, florists, and sporting goods stores. Higher-risk businesses like hair salons and gyms, offices, and dine-in restaurants will come later. Newsom’s plan may allow some local governments to move faster than the state if they hit certain criteria. Counties must show they can meet certain testing and tracing requirements and that their health care systems can handle a potential surge. The state is tracking six indicators to determine when to ease restrictions.


Yesterday Governor Gavin Newsom laid out a number of conditions that California counties will need to satisfy if they aim to break from the state’s timetable for reopening. The conditions were much more stringent than anything anticipated by county supervisors who had hoped to be granted enough autonomy to initiate an expanded Phase Two opening as soon as today. Reporter Mike Lipsitz highlights some of the governor’s conditions and county supervisor’s response to them…

The governor’s plan allows clothing and sporting goods retailers, bookstores, and florists to open in limited capacities starting today. Before our county can expand that list, the following conditions, and others, must be met:

  • No more than one case of COVID-19 per 10,000 residents for the past 14 days; we are now at 70.
  • Zero COVID-19 related deaths per day for two weeks; we are averaging two per day.
  • Daily testing of 1.5 people per 1,300 residents; far more than what we are testing now.
  • Have in place an extensive system for contact tracing; 15 tracers per 1,000 cases.

The governor’s conditions had a stunning effect on the board of supervisors who will now appeal to Newsom for more autonomy in deciding when and how to grease the wheels of commerce in our county. Supervisors next meet in a special session on Tuesday.

For general, non-medical information and resources about the virus, visit the county’s COVID-19 webpage at or call 909-387-3911 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


San Bernardino County reported another four deaths and 130 coronavirus cases Thursday, May 7. COVID-19 has killed 108 and infected 2,562 county residents, according to the county’s online dashboard that tracks the pandemic. Here in the Morongo Basin the numbers are unchanged with 38 confirmed cases and three deaths. Joshua Tree with 15 cases and two deaths, Yucca Valley with 12 cases and one death, Morongo Valley with six and Twentynine Palms, five.

In the county of more than 2.1 million residents, 26,656 people have been tested for the disease, but only 9.6 percent were positive, according to the county’s data. Testing was up 2.5 percent since Wednesday.

The number of cases is doubling every 11.9 days.

  • Adelanto: 38 cases, 1 death
  • Angelus Oaks: 0 cases, 0 deaths
  • Apple Valley: 41 cases, 2 deaths
  • Barstow: 9 cases, 2 deaths
  • Big Bear City: 3 cases, 0 deaths
  • Big Bear Lake: 5 cases, 0 deaths
  • Bloomington: 36 cases, 1 death
  • Blue Jay: 0 cases, 0 deaths
  • Chino: 168 cases, 1 death
  • Chino Hills: 69 cases, 2 deaths
  • Colton: 101 cases, 10 deaths
  • Crestline: 10 cases, 1 death
  • Fontana: 310 cases, 9 deaths
  • Fort Irwin: 2 cases, 0 deaths
  • Grand Terrace: 15 cases, 1 death
  • Hesperia: 72 cases, 1 death
  • Highland: 78 cases, 3 deaths
  • Joshua Tree: 15 cases, 2 deaths
  • Landers: 0 cases, 0 deaths
  • Loma Linda: 45 cases, 0 deaths
  • Mentone: 16 cases, 0 deaths
  • Montclair: 39 cases, 3 deaths
  • Morongo Valley: 6 cases, 0 deaths
  • Oak Hills: 15 cases, 0 deaths
  • Ontario: 215 cases, 7 deaths
  • Piñon Hills: 0 cases, 0 deaths
  • Phelan: 9 cases, 0 deaths
  • Rancho Cucamonga: 133 cases, 5 deaths
  • Redlands: 144 cases, 12 deaths
  • Rialto: 125 cases, 4 deaths
  • Rimforest: 1 case, 0 deaths
  • Running Springs: 4 cases, 0 deaths
  • San Bernardino: 330 cases, 3 deaths
  • Twentynine Palms: 5 cases, 0 deaths
  • Upland: 100 cases, 9 deaths
  • Victorville: 106 cases, 6 deaths
  • Wrightwood: 1 case, 0 deaths
  • Yucaipa: 180 cases, 22 deaths
  • Yucca Valley: 12 cases, 1 death
  • Undetermined: 104 cases, 0 deaths


While wearing a face covering is essential to help limit spread of the coronavirus, we would all agree it’s not particularly enjoyable for anyone. Moreover, face coverings can become even more uncomfortable during hot weather—which is now here in the Morongo Basin. Managing editor Tami Roleff has information about wearing masks in hot weather…

It is unnecessary to wear a face mask when walking, running, jogging, or biking alone (or with a household member). But keep it around your neck, and pull it up when you are approaching or passing other people. Courtesy photo

Unfortunately, hot weather does not mitigate the need for face coverings when you are in public. While it is highly unlikely you will be exposed to the virus if you are outdoors and socially distanced, having a face covering with you is an act of solidarity and courtesy, letting everyone know you are trying to be respectful, smart, and safe. So here are some tips to make wearing one less unpleasant.

Be smart when you wear a face covering. While you should always bring your face covering when you leave your home, it is unnecessary to wear it when walking, running, jogging, or biking alone (or with a household member). But keep it around your neck, and pull it up when you are approaching or passing other people.

Use a breathable fabric, such as cotton, which is typically more comfortable in hot weather than synthetic fabrics.

Check your fit. While your face covering should fit snugly, it should not be so tight that it’s uncomfortable or makes breathing difficult. Consider using an adjustable-tie face covering, rather than one with fixed elastic straps.

Bring extras. Cloth face coverings should not be worn when they become damp or wet, which is not uncommon in hot weather. Have extra clean ones that you can put on when the original becomes less effective.

Limit how long you wear one. It is usually best to limit the amount of time you wear your face covering. They are especially important when social distancing is more challenging, such as when visiting a supermarket. You do not need one while driving alone or with members of your household.

Remember your skin. Hot weather can cause moisture to build up, irritating your skin in similar fashion to a diaper rash. Cloth face coverings tend to be less of a problem than the N95 masks used by medical workers.