Kern sees slight increase in COVID-19 disease transmission, health officials say

May 11, 2021 /

Kern County remains in the Orange Tier (Tier 3) of the COVID-19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy, according to the State.

This marks the fifth week Kern has been in the Orange Tier. 

Every county is assigned to one of four tiers based on the adjusted case rate, testing positivity rate, and health equity metric. Kern’s countywide adjusted case rate is 3.4 per 100,000 people; countywide testing positivity rate is at 1.7 percent; and the Health Equity Quartile Testing Positivity rate is at 1.9 percent. All these metrics are up from last week.

“We are starting to see slight increases in COVID disease transmission and hospitalization in Kern County, and we continue to see our vaccination rates decline,” Kern Public Health said in a news release. “Stopping this pandemic requires using all of the tools that we have available, including distancing, masking, and most importantly getting vaccinated.” 

Kern must meet the Yellow Tier metrics for at least two consecutive weeks to be able to progress forward, so the earliest Kern could be eligible to move into the Yellow Tier is May 26, Kern Public Health officials says.  

Yesterday the FDA authorized the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15-year old children.  The next step in this process is for CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to review and provide a recommendation.  They are expected to meet tomorrow morning. 

“Vaccination remains the safest and quickest way to immunity and those 16 and older are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” Kern Public Health said.

The Public Health COVID-19 vaccine nurse hotline is available from 7AM to 7PM, seven days a week. Call or text 661-677-4177 to ask your vaccine related questions.   

The Kern County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Clinic offers Pfizer vaccine from the comfort of your car. The clinic operates Wednesday thru Sunday, 9:30am to 4pm. Appointments can be made at but are not required.  Other vaccinating providers are available throughout the community, and can be found on the Vaccinating Providers Map at