The Kern County Public Health Department on Monday said at a press conference the Governor’s stay-at-home order is still in place.
After much confusion over the weekend, County officials clarified an announcement made Saturday. The Kern County Public Health department announced Saturday it rescinded the local order of the Kern County Health Officer, which was made on April 2. It did not rescind the local emergency declaration.
“Kern County is preparing to get back to work,” said Megan Person, the chief communications officer for Kern County. “We want to be in a position to react quickly.”
Person said the rescinding of the local order doesn’t change much for the residents of Kern County. Non-essential businesses are still expected to remain closed, and residents are still encouraged to stay home and practice social distancing.
“Everything remains the same,” said Michelle Corson, the spokeswoman for Public Health. “This was strictly so we can respond when the Governor takes actions.”
Person said the rescinding of the local order is a step in preparation of when the Governor modifies or rescinds his stay-at-home order, which is just “days away,” according to a news released by Public Health. Person said this is just “clearing the red tape that would slow us down in the future.
Local law enforcement will still be able to issue citations to businesses not in compliance with the Governor’s orders. Law enforcement has issued two citations since the order went into effect, according to Person, after health officials made repeated attempts to get them to abide by the order.
The local order was originally instituted to garner additional tools to assist with Kern County’s compliance with the Governor’s stay at home order and California Department of Public Health’s gathering guidance.
Kern County has also put together a committee 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.
The committee will provide best practices, guidance and recommendations for implementing necessary changes locally for safely reopening businesses when the Governor’s orders are lifted, according to a news release.
Featured photo: A sign of the times is posted at the entrance of Lorene’s Downtown. As people in Bakersfield are told to observe isolation and distancing precautions because of the Coronavirus pandemic effecting the United States and the world, the streets in Bakersfield are much less crowded during peak hours. Some businesses can remain open if they provide essential needs of the population. While many have closed doors. Photos by Henry A. Barrios for Kern Sol News