Health officials confirm 6th COVID-19 related death in Kern

April 28, 2020 /

The Kern County Public Health Department confirmed Kern County’s sixth COVID-19 related death Wednesday morning.

Health officials also confirmed at Wednesday 875 COVID-19 cases. The total number of cases includes nine non-residents who have tested positive.

There are currently 376 active cases of COVID-19, and 484 residents have recovered.

Health officials hope to release geographic data regarding Kern’s COVID-19 cases later this week, health officials said at a press conference Monday morning.

The Health Department made the announcement after the Kern County Board of Supervisors tasked the department to explore options outside of the State of California guidelines that would allow the release of more detailed data regarding local cases, said Michelle Corson, the Kern County Public Health Department’s spokeswoman.

The Kern County Public Health Department and Kern County counsel has connected with HIPPA statisticians, who said public health can release additional geographic information related to Kern’s COVID-19 cases, Corson said.

Prior to the analysis, the Public Health said it was following state guidelines regarding the release of identifiable information; however, the state does allow for independent statistical analysis to be conducted by an expert to explore additional methods of release, according to Corson.

The majority of Kern’s cases fall in the 18 to 49 age group, with a total of 515 cases. In addition, 64 cases fall in the 0 to 17 age group; 202 in the 50-64 age group; and 85 in the 65 and older age group.

There have been 104 cases reported in the Valley region; 255 in the West Bakersfield region; 468 in the East Bakersfield region; 21 in the Mountain region; and 18 in the Dessert region.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced additional symptoms to COVID-19. In addition to fever, cough and shortness of breath, people may also experience the chills, repeated shaking during the chills, muscle pain, headaches, a sore throat, and loss of taste or smell.

“We want to stress to continue to stay home and continue to practice social distancing,” Corson said.

Data released by the California Department of Public Health has shown overall, for adults 18 and older, Latinos, African Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are dying at disproportionately higher levels. The proportion of COVID-19 deaths in African Americans is about double their population representation across all adult age categories. 

Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez

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