What appears to be the third wave of increased COVID-19 cases is causing local hospitals to reach their maximum patient capacity.
The Kern County Department of Public Health revealed a projected peak of September 13 for COVID-19 cases; the peak projected hospitalization to reach 333 patients. In a Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting on September 14, it was stated that Kern County has already reached the projected peak.
“Over the last couple of weeks, Kern has seen a substantial increase in COVID related hospitalization and ICU. Specifically, from August 29th to September 2nd,” stated Kern County Public Health Director Brynn Carrigan.
While entering this third wave of COVID cases, there is an action plan. Kern County has called additional resources to help minimize contagions. These resources consist of COVID funding, additional 19,500 hours of ICU nursing staff, and 14 member teams from national guards.
The goal of this additional funding is to help decrease the number of cases within 4-6 weeks. The extra hours implemented for the ICU will help the increasing demand in our local hospitals.
“I feel very confident that this staffing will help us bridge the gap until the hospitalizations go down significantly” said Carrigan.
Additionally, it is not only the elderly being affected the most, as cases in other age groups increase. The age group that has been shown to be affected at a greater rate in this wave of rising cases are 18-49. The 65 and higher age group currently show to have the least amount of COVID-19 cases.
If cases continue to rise there are emergency resources that are available but have not been yet used.
“If needed we have our alternative care site which we could stand up if our hospitals became too impacted and flowing,” stated Michelle Corson, the Program Manager and Public Relations Officer at Kern County Public Health.
As of September 20, Kern County has 309 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and 80 are in the ICU.
Even though hospitals are struggling with high numbers of COVID patients, they report they have learned valuable lessons from the first two waves and will only improve their ways in helping those in need.
Kern County Public Health urges everyone to do their part to keep Kern County healthy by practicing healthy habits such as washing your hands, staying home when sick, wearing a mask in public and eating a healthy diet. Get vaccinated if you are 12 years of age or older, visit MyTurn.ca.gov to schedule your appointment today.
As of September 20, 770,159 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Kern County residents. 367,838 or 48.8 percent of Kern’s eligible population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Kern County Public Health and Kern Medical are partnering to provide free COVID-19 and flu vaccinations at the Kern County Fair. People will receive a complimentary Fair ticket after getting a COVID-19 vaccine to return on a day during the 2021 Fair.
If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, find a testing location near you by visiting our interactive map of testing locations on our website: https://phweb.kerncounty.com/Html5Viewer/index.html?viewer=COVID19TestingSites.