Health officials confirm third COVID-19 related death this week, totaling to 8 deaths in Kern

May 1, 2020 /

The Kern County Public Health Department confirmed Kern’s eighth COVID-19 related death Friday morning. This marks the third death this week, which is the most Kern has had in one week since the pandemic hit Kern County.

Health officials also confirmed 948 COVID-19 cases. The total number of cases includes nine non-residents who have tested positive.

There are currently 388 active cases of COVID-19, while 543 residents have recovered.

“We want to continue to thank our residents to adhering to the Governor’s order for staying at home,” Kern County Public Health Spokeswoman Michelle Corson said Thursday at a press conference.

Megan Person, the chief communications officer for Kern County, joined Corson at the press conference to discuss future plans for the County regarding COVID-19.

Three free COVID-19 testing sites will open in Kern next week on Tuesday May 5, Person announced.

The three sites will be located at the Richard Prado Senior Center (open Sunday through Friday, drive-thru only); the Kern County Fairgrounds, building 4 (open Tuesday through Saturday, walk in appointments); and the Mojave Veterans Memorial Building in Mojave (open Tuesday through Saturday, walk in appointments).

All three locations require appointments, which can be made on Kerncounty.com or on kernpublichealth.com. Those getting tested must being an ID to the appointment.

“This increases our testing capability by around 400 tests a day,” Person said. “This is a rapidly evolving scenario.”

Person also announced the Board of Supervisors requested there be a committee in place to help with a swift and smooth reopening of the economy when the Governor decides to lift the shelter in place order.

Person said the committee will work with industry sectors to ensure communication on state directives, and industry sectors will have an opportunity to provide recommendations for the reopening of the local economy when the times comes.

“This promotes safe and responsible business development and job creation,” Person said.

Corson also emphasized the importance of residents to get and stay health as a way to build immune systems.

Corson said it’s more important than ever to stay active, to eat well, to stay hydrated, and to get enough rest.

“We need to maximize our health right now,” Corson said. “All of these things can help us achieve our optimal health, which is going to impact our immune system.”

Earlier this week, Corson said the Kern County Public Health Department would release more detailed geographic information regarding Kern’s COVID-19 cases; however, Corson said Thursday, the department hopes to release that data next week.

Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez

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