The Kern County Public Health Department announced Monday 130 new cases of COVID-19 in Kern, bringing the total to 41,957 cases.
The state of California has also made changes to the COVID-19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
During the press conference on Nov. 19, Kern County of Public Health stated the blueprint changes were made to lower the transmission rates as Kern entered the purple tier and are as followed:
- The 3 day time limit for businesses to transition back to the new recommended guidelines has moved to 1 day.
- California has also opted to move counties between tiers after failing metrics for 1 week instead of 2.
- Specific/stronger wording in masking and industry sectors will also be applied, such as recommending at restaurants to only take off masks when eating.
- Counties will also be frozen in their tiers. This means if Kern improves, it will remain in the purple tier as the governor will “unfreeze” by region or state.
Kern County continues to utilize different outreach to educate residents and increase those being tested to meet the average state testing. Their focus is to support vulnerable populations in Kern.
This includes initiating a phase team that will go door to door to provide information via door hangers or presentations on how to wear a mask, testing site availability, etc. They will also release mail letters to the 35 census tracts in the healthy places index that the state has asked Kern to focus on.
With Thanksgiving now in the past and Christmas quickly approaching, public health officials are expressing the need to be vigilant.
Kim Hernandez, lead epidemiologist, explains, “Nationally we see rates 2 times as much as in the July surgance.”
Ryan Alsop, Kern’s Chief Administrative Officer, highlighted that Kern contract tracers have found that the virus is not spread significantly by businesses, gyms, schools, or churches that are following the state guidelines.
He said the spread is caused through private gatherings when people are not practicing preventative measures.
“We ask you to consider that the virus is here, is spreading, and it’s real,” states Alsop.
Matt Constantine, Director of Public Health Service, also advises that people isolate for at least 14 days when traveling into and out of the state.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Department stated that the 10 pm curfew initiated last week will not be enforced.
Donny Youngblood, Kern County Sheriff released a video stating, “We are aware of the governor’s stay-at-home order that was issued yesterday. We just want you and the public to understand that the sheriff’s office will not respond to calls for service simply because of large gatherings or large crowds. I want you to understand that if there’s a problem other than that, we certainly will respond to that, but we are not going to respond simply to people that are gathering at a house where there’s too many.”