Kern County is on track to move up to the less restrictive red tier as soon as Tuesday, Kern County Public Health said at Thursday’s press conference.
Brynn Carrigan, the assistant director of Kern County Public Health, announced that Kern had a case rate of 5.1 percent and adjusted case rate at 5.5 percent. This is below the state’s new metric system that requires the case rate to be below 8 percent.
The test-positivity rate was 4.7 percent and the lowest quartile aggregate testing positivity was at 6.2 percent. This data also follows the new metric system, and if this pattern continues, Kern County can open more indoor businesses and possibly schools with the proper guidelines.
“Now more than ever is the time to remain diligent in our efforts,” said Carrigan. “We not only need to continue practicing our COVID mitigation strategies, including wearing a mask, avoiding gatherings, staying home when sick, and practicing good hand hygiene, but we must also keep our overall health as good as possible.”
However, moving forward isn’t always guaranteed. Ryan Alsop, Kern County Chief Administrative Officer, referred to Fresno’s steps backwards.
“Fresno moved to the red tier and is poised to move back to the purple tier,” Alsop said. “We don’t want this to happen here in Kern County, so we need to maintain our focus in the community.”
Another factor in our community that must take into consideration during the pandemic is the flu season, which many health officials call it the “twindemic.” To decrease the potential stress on hospitals, health officials are urging members of Kern County to get their flu shots that are free in multiple locations throughout the County. These locations can be found on KernCounty.com.
The Kern County Public Health Department confirmed Monday 54 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 33,020. Of this number, 16,686 people have recovered. According to the California Department of Public Health, Kern had 59 ICU beds available as of Sunday.