During holidays, Kern’s active case rate increases to record numbers

January 4, 2021 /

In just two months, Kern County went from having less than 5,000 active cases of COVID-19 to having more than 50,000 cases during the holiday season.

From Nov. 4, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021, Kern saw an increase of more than 45,000 active cases, according to the Kern County Public Health Department’s dashboard. This is the largest increase in active cases in Kern over a two month period since the pandemic first hit Kern in March.

The second largest increase in active cases over a two-month period was seen during the summer months from June to August, with an increase of 14,796 cases.

Kern is also seeing its highest COVID-19 hospitalization rates over the past holiday season. As of Sunday, there were 395 COVID-19 patients in Kern’s hospitals — the highest number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals since the pandemic began, according to the California Department of Public Health data.

Of these patients, 83 are in the Intensive Care Unit, leaving 14 ICU beds available, according CDPH.

Kern County, which is part of the San Joaquin Valley Region, continues to remain in the purple tier, also known as the Widespread or most restrictive tier, when it comes to the state’s blueprint for reopening the economy. This tier calls for many non-essential indoor business operations to close.

Data shows Kern County has 78 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 people; has an adjusted case rate of 65.8; has a positivity rate of 19.7 percent over a seven-day average; and has a health equity quartile positivity rate of 25 percent. Kern has remained in the purple tier over the past four weeks.

Elizabeth Sanchez

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