Health officials confirm 4 new COVID-19 cases, raising total to 32 cases

March 26, 2020 /

The Kern County Public Health Department confirmed four new COVID-19 cases Thursday afternoon, raising the total number to 32 positive cases in Kern County.

The number of pending tests nearly doubled to 880 Thursday from 411 just the day before.

“While we are still investigating these cases, it is likely that community transmission is now occurring in Kern County,” said Michelle Corson, the public information officer for Kern Public Health at a press conference Monday morning.

Last week, the Public Health Department considered Kern low risk; however, now the department is no longer considering the County low risk.

“The risk is there,” Corson said. “This is to be taken seriously.”

Kim Hernandez, an epidemiologist, announced at Monday’s press conference the county is being broken up into five regions: Valley, Bakersfield West, Bakersfield East, Mountain, and desert. Six cases have been identified in the Valley region, 20 cases in the Bakersfield West region, 5 cases in the Bakersfield East region and one case in the Desert region.

The Public Health Department is uploading a map on their website for the public to view.

“What can we do,” Corson said. “We still encourage our community to pay attention to Governor Newsom’s executive order to stay at home…and use your common sense approach if you are out and about. Practice your social distancing and wash your hands.”

The California Public Health Department has confirmed 1,468 cases of COVID-19 in the state, with 27 deaths as of March 21.

Kern County Public Health Services recommends the following protective measures:

1. Wash hands with soap and water often.
2. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Follow package instructions for proper disinfecting.
3. Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
4. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
5. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
6. Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick.
7. Those 65 and older or other high risk groups should self-isolate.

Kern Sol News is a youth-led journalism organization in Kern County. In their stories, reporters shine light on health and racial disparities in under-served communities across Kern. For more stories by South Kern Sol, head to southkernsol.org.

Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez is the program associate for South Kern Sol. She can be reached at elizabeth@southkernsol.org.