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    March 21, 2020

    EL CENTRO — Community transmission of COVID-19 has been confirmed with Imperial County’s fourth positive test.

    The Imperial County Public Health Department announced the fourth case late Thursday, and El Centro Regional Medical Center CEO Dr. Adolphe Edward confirmed the result in a live Facebook webcast Friday morning.

    Edward said the patient is a local man in his mid-50s and that the infection is believed to have been acquired locally. He said the patient was resting and “doing very well

    Earlier Thursday, Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley also confirmed a patient had tested positive for novel coronavirus.

    Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District CEO Larry Lewis said the middle-aged patient has been transferred out the county for additional care.

    ECRMC’s Edward also announced Friday that the hospital would be canceling or postponing all elective and non-emergency surgeries until further notice. He asked patients to reschedule appointments for non-urgent or non-emergency medical visits.

    He praised the efforts of the hospital’s personnel during the recent public health crisis. “The staff here is extremely well-trained, and we’ve done everything to protect everyone with the measures we’ve put in place,” he said.

    On March 11, El Centro Regional Medical Center announced the county’s first two patients had tested positive for COVID-19. The pair are a married couple in their 70s who reportedly had recently traveled to Florida.

    They were eventually transferred for care in San Diego, where they were reported to be recovering.

    As of press time, there were nearly 1,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California and 23 deaths

    Tom Bodus, I.V. Press