|The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the statewide indoor masking mandate will expire on February 15, 2022, and will go back to the previous masking guidance, requiring only unvaccinated individuals to wear a mask in indoor public settings. |
Additionally, mega-event capacity restrictions revert to pre-surge guidance at 1,000 attendees in an indoor setting and 10,000 attendees in an outdoor setting. Both changes will take effect on February 16.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said that even though cases were dropping, it was too soon for all Americans to take off their masks in indoor public places.
“Our hospitalizations are still high, our death rates are still high,” said Walensky. “So, as we work toward that and as we are encouraged by the current trends, we are not there yet.”
There are 707 newly reported confirmed cases in Kern County bringing the total confirmed cases to date to 222,651. Eight new deaths have been reported and a total of 2,040 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The 7-day case rate is 81.5 per 100,000. As of February 7, 1,125,737 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Kern County residents. 460,241 or 54.2% of Kern’s eligible population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Kern County has 231 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and 49 are in the ICU.
According to the Kern County Public Health Services Department, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on February 15 to discuss the request from Pfizer for an emergency use authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 6 months to 4 years of age. Vaccination remains the quickest and safest way to protect against severe illness and death due to COVID-19.
It is still highly recommended that any individual utilizing a COVID-19 self-test that tests positive contact their healthcare provider and report positive results by following the instructions on the home test kit or to Kern County Public Health.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said he hoped restrictions would be ended in the coming months as a combination of vaccines, treatments including antivirals, and prior infection would make the virus more manageable.
“There is no way we are going to eradicate this virus,” he said. “But I hope we are looking at a time when we have enough people vaccinated and enough people with protection from previous infection that the COVID restrictions will soon be a thing of the past.”
As the impact of COVID-19 is ongoing, it is important for people to improve their overall health. Physical activity and eating a balanced diet can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk for chronic disease and severe illness from COVID-19. Kern County Public Health offers community initiatives geared at improving the overall health of our community. Get on the road to better health today by visiting their website.
Visit MYTURN.CA.GOV to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated.