The first Kern County resident to die of COVID-19 is a Delano resident, according to Delano City Council Member Bryan Osorio.
Susie Garcia, a former Delano business woman, passed Friday, Osorio said. Bryan said a contact from Garcia’s family reached out to him to inform him of the death.
“The first thought is it’s very sad when you hear of the passing of any Delano resident,” Osorio said. “It’s a heavy hit.”
The Kern County Public Health Department announced the first death Friday around noon, but did not release details of the individual.
“We offer our deepest condolences to the family and are saddened by this,” says Matt Constantine, Director of Kern County Public Health Services. “This is a tragic reminder of how serious COVID-19 can be and we encourage all residents to stay at home and practice social distancing when going out for essential services.”
There are 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kern County residents and one in a non-resident. As of Friday, there are 971 pending tests in Kern, a jump from 880 from the day before, according to the Kern County Public Health Department’s website.
Health officials have divided Kern County into five regions: Valley, Bakersfield West, Bakersfield East, Mountain, and desert. Six cases have been identified in the Valley region, 22 cases in the Bakersfield West region, five cases in the Bakersfield East region and one case in the Desert region.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty right now,” Osorio said. “But I would urge people across Kern County to take this seriously. I have seen people not taking the warnings seriously.”
Kern County Public Health Services recommends the following protective measures:
- Stay at home except for essential needs.
- Wash hands with soap and water often.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Follow package instructions for proper disinfecting.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick.
- Those 65 and older or other high risk groups should self-isolate.