Latest COVID-19 facts announced as cases decline

February 17, 2022 /

As COVID-19 and Omicron cases are seemingly declining from their peak level in January, so are the numbers in hospitalization.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said it is time to start ‘inching’ back towards normality, while still remaining safe.

“The fact that the world and the United States and particularly certain parts of the United States are just up to here with COVID – they just really need to somehow get their life back,” Dr. Fauci said. “You don’t want to be reckless and throw everything aside, but you’ve got to start inching towards that.”

The statewide indoor mask mandate expired on February 15, 2022, due to the decrease in COVID-19 and Omicron numbers. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said the agency would soon issue new guidelines, including on face coverings, based on factors like hospital capacity, not just new coronavirus cases.

“Things are moving in the right direction, but we want to remain vigilant to do all we can, so that this trajectory continues,” said Walensky

“We want to give people a break from things like mask wearing when these metrics are better and then have the ability to reach for them again,” said Walensky. “Should things worsen, if and when we update our guidance, we will communicate that clearly and it will be based on the data and the science.

There are 881 newly reported confirmed cases in Kern County bringing the total confirmed cases to date to 229,034. Three new deaths were reported on February 15 and a total of 2,077 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The seven day case rate is 53.5 per 100,000. As of February 14, 1,136,596 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Kern County residents. 54.6 percent of Kern’s eligible population and 50.7 percent of Kern’s total population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Kern County had 198 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and 43 are in the ICU.

Charts from the Public Health Department’s BOS presentation

According to the Kern County Public Health Department, on February 16, the State’s masking mandate officially reverts to pre-surge requirements, no longer requiring those who are fully vaccinated to mask indoors. Also, on February 14 Secretary Mark Ghaly held a press conference where he indicated that on February 28, the State will be reassessing case rates, test positivity, hospitalizations, pediatric hospitalizations, and vaccine rates for future potential change to the statewide school masking mandate. Current guidance for use of face masks can be found here.

Public Health continues to recommend that any individual utilizing a COVID-19 self-test that tests positive to contact their healthcare provider and report positive results by following the instructions on the home test kit or to Kern County Public Health at

In addition to the countywide infrastructure of partner testing sites, KCHPD coordinates mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites throughout the county and a map with this information can be found on their website

Other vaccine and testing sites with All Vaccines for 5+, Pfizer, J&J, and booster available are:

  • 2/19/22 — Arvin Veterans Hall from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    • 414 4th Ave. Arvin, CA, 93203 12-4PM
  • 2/20/22 — St. Therese Church from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • 300 W Lerdo Hwy., Shafter, CA, 93263