With COVID-19 spreading at a dangerous rate throughout the state, and multiple regions of the state now under a mandatory stay-at-home order, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services will issue region-wide emergency alerts at noon on Tuesday, asking residents to stay home except for essential activities, according to State officials.
Kern Residents can expect to receive the following message in both English and Spanish via text message:
“New public health stay at home order in your area. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. Stay home except for essential activity. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Visit covid19.ca.gov”
The alert comes as the most recent statistics on COVID-19, including data on intensive care unit (ICU) capacity shows that the San Joaquin Valley region, which includes Kern, and the Southern California region have dropped below 15 percent capacity, triggering regional stay-at-home orders in those areas.
The California Department of Public Health reported, as of Sunday, there were 207 COVID-19 positive patients in local hospitals in Kern. Of these patients, 47 were in the Intensive Care Unit, leaving 31 ICU beds available.
The Kern County Public Health Department announced 1,055 new COVID-19 cases in Kern, bringing the total to 46,397 cases. Local health officials also announced 1 new COVID-19 death, bringing the total to 457.
The Regional Stay-at-Home Order took effect in those two regions at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday and will remain in effect for at least three weeks. Regions will be eligible to exit from the order and return to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy on December 28 if ICU capacity projections for the following month are above or equal to 15%.
The alert message is informational only, and individuals who receive wireless alerts should not contact law enforcement or call 9-1-1.
Under the terms of the State Department of Public Health order, when ICU capacity drops below 15% in a region, a list of sectors must close by 11:59 p.m. the next day including bars, breweries, distilleries, and wineries (except for production, manufacturing, and retail), hair salons and barbershops, and personal care services. In addition, a number of sectors in these regions, including restaurants, retail and shopping centers and hotels and lodging, will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing.