The number of COVID-19 cases in San Bernardino County increased by four to reach nine on Friday, March 20, the Department of Public Health announced.

The county did not specify where the cases were recorded nor the identities of the patients. The county said no deaths have been attributable to the disease.

Additional cases are expected to emerge as more test results are reported to the county.

Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson said that the county is complying with state’s public health orders to avoid the spread of the virus.

“These orders are not intended to spark panic, but rather reduce the spread of infection and minimize the number of people who get sick at any one time to keep our health-care system functioning,” said Gustafson in a press release.  “We must assume and behave as if the virus is everywhere.”

County spokesman David West told the Redlands Community News that local authorities are trying to determine how much testing has taken place within the county.

Wert said most of the testing is being done by private labs, including Quest Diagnostics and Labcorp, and that the only thing they are required to report to the county are positive results.

“But we are trying to find out from them how many total tests they have conducted from within the county,” he said.

Wert said the county’s Department of Public Health lab criteria is the same as the state/federal testing criteria, which indicates the patient has to show signs of fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness, fever with severe acute community acquired lower respiratory illness, and a history of travel from affected geographic areas in the last 14 days before symptom onset.

The test requires a collection of a single nasopharyngeal swab, which is placed into sterile tubes containing 2-3 mL of viral transport media.