Health officials confirm 744 cases of COVID-19 in Kern

April 24, 2020 /

The Kern County Public Health Department confirmed Friday 744 cases of COVID-19 in Kern County.

Health officials said Monday at a press conference they are hopeful the Kern County curve will flatten within the next two weeks.

“The next week or two, we are hopeful to see the curve flatten,” said Michelle Corson, the spokeswoman for the Kern County Public Health Department. “We are encouraged by the news we are getting as the state beings to see potential of flattening the curve.”

“As a local level, we know our cases continue to rise,” she continued. “It is more important than ever to stay home and social distance.”

The total number of cases in Kern includes 9 non residents who have tested positive. It also includes 377 recovered cases.

Most cases fall in the 18-49 age group with a total of 433 cases. There are 51 reported cases in the 0-17 age group; 181 cases in the 50-64 age group; and 70 in the 65 and over age group.

Eighty-nine cases are located in the Valley region; 226 in the West Bakersfield region; 383 in the East Bakersfield region; 19 in the Mountain region; and 18 in the Dessert region.

“We want to remind you to stay at home,” said Corson. “If you must leave for essential services, practice social distancing.”

According to the California Department of Public Health, as of April 23, there are 37,369 reported cases of COVID-19 and 1,469 COVID-19-related deaths in the sate.

The state data show for adults 18 and older, Latinos, African Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are dying at disproportionately higher rates. African Americans in particular are experiencing the highest death rate, about double their population representation across all adult age categories.

The Kern County Public Health Department does not plan to release local racial demographic data any time soon, according to Corson.

Health officials are also urging people who smoke or vape to consider quitting. The California Department of Public Health said over the weekend those who smoke and vape are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to reduced lung capacity and their mouths and lips coming in contact with potentially contaminated devices.

Corson said the Kern County Public Health Department has received more than 1,800 complaints about non-essential businesses not in compliance with the Governor’s order. Health officials have responded to 1,461 complaints of businesses that have remained open despite the order.

When the County is ready to reopen the economy, Corson said it will look to the Governor for reopening guidelines.

Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez

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