A popular pastor in San Bernardino County has died of COVID-19 complications and his wife also became infected with the virus.
The death of Bob Bryant, an associate pastor at Water of Life Community Church in Fontana, comes as cases continue to rise in the Inland Empire.
His wife, Lori Bryant, said her husband's health declined quickly.
"Bob got every symptom. He just started to get more and more symptoms," she said. "Within three hours they were running me back to the back and they were putting Bob on a ventilator."
The only way she and other family members could see him was through his window, while standing in the parking lot outside his hospital.
On Monday she got a call that he wasn't going to make it. So she demanded she be allowed inside.
"I was able to be there with him," she said. "When it was over I was there."
The death of the beloved 58-year-old pastor has deeply affected his congregation, which has also lost others to COVID-19.
"We've experienced several deaths at our church over the last eight or nine months so it's been difficult but, yes, we try to protect ourselves and guard against COVID," said Pastor Danny Carroll Sr.
Church services have continued to take place outside during the pandemic.
With hospitalization numbers dramatically climbing in San Bernardino County nearly 50% over the past week, doctors are worried the ICUs could eventually be overwhelmed.
"The traveling is going to add another type of surge we are going to see another impact in the next few weeks from Thanksgiving and when Christmas come," said Dr. Victor Waters, at St. Bernardine Medical Center.
Bryant says she has now tested negative for COVID-19 and it's unclear how she and her husband became infected. So as the virus continues to spread. She's hoping others will take extra safety precautions, especially if they are high risk.
"Bob is very very safe because he had some issues with his health so he's been very very safe and it could be you," she said.
Editor's note: An Earlier version incorrectly identified Bob Bryant.