After digesting the state's new reopening plan for counties over the weekend, county leaders had a message Monday morning: The path to reopening Kern County is less about businesses taking certain actions and more about what individuals need to do.

Under the state’s new approach, reopening is structured to allow more business activity within counties as they achieve a sustained reduction in COVID-19 cases, the county officials explained. Kern businesses, for the most part, are complying with all the safeguards required by the state to prevent infection and are not seen as “a catalyst to infection rates," said Ryan Alsop, the county’s administrative officer. It’s family gatherings and group interactions that are causing spread of the virus, he said, urging the public to take responsibility by avoiding such gatherings.

“At some point government’s responsibility ends and personal responsibility begins, and we are at that point,” Alsop said. “People need to be personally responsible for their own public health practices. We need your help.”

During a news conference, Alsop outlined how the state will measure the county’s progress on virus transmission in order to advance through the four tiers for reopening, each with less restrictions.

Here’s what to know about that process:

WHERE ARE WE NOW?

Kern County and 37 other counties are starting out in the most restrictive tier, the purple-colored “widespread" category.

Under this tier, restrictions on businesses ordered by Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration in recent weeks remain in place with a few exceptions. As of Monday, salons and barbershops can now reopen with certain limitations, and shopping malls and libraries can open at 25 percent capacity.

WHAT'S ALLOWED IN THE NEXT TIER?

If the county successfully advances into the red tier in the coming weeks, those restrictions will loosen.

In the red tier, nail salons can reopen indoors and restaurants can seat people inside at 25 percent capacity.

Gyms can operate inside at 10 percent capacity and churches and other houses of worship can restart services inside at 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Movie theaters and zoos and museums can also reopen at 25 percent capacity.

And after a county is in the red tier for two weeks, schools can reopen.

WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO GET INTO THE RED TIER?

To move into the red tier, Kern County must meet the criteria for it for two consecutive weeks. That means the county must average no more than seven new daily cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period (which, for Kern, is no more than an average 65 new daily cases) and achieve an average positivity rate of 8 percent or lower over a seven-day period. The county must meet both metrics to move tiers — meeting only one will result in remaining in the purple tier.

Under the state's new method for calculating those metrics, Kern County on Monday was averaging about 125 new daily COVID-19 cases, or 14 per 100,000 residents, and the positivity rate was about 10 percent, Kern County Public Health Services Director Matt Constantine said.

The state plans to assess and update counties' metrics on a weekly basis, starting Tuesday. 

(The seven-day period for both metrics is calculated using a seven-day lag to allow for a more complete dataset. Infections among state and federal prisoners will not be counted in the metrics, according to the state's guidelines).

To move into the orange tier, which comes after red, Kern must report for two weeks an average of 35 or fewer new daily cases, or less than four per 100,000 residents, and must maintain an average positivity rate under 5 percent. In the orange tier, businesses already open can expand their indoor capacity to 50 percent in most cases and non-essential offices can reopen, though telecommuting will still be encouraged. Wineries and family entertainment centers can reopen indoor operations with limitations and cardrooms and satellite wagering can also restart inside with restrictions.

The least restrictive tier, yellow, allows no more than nine new cases per day and a positivity rate under 2 percent. In the yellow tier, most business sectors can increase the amount of activity allowed to happen indoors. 

Notably, even the yellow tier still contains some restrictions and at this time the state has given no indication on how long the system will be in effect.

HOW SOON MIGHT KERN COUNTY MOVE INTO THE RED TIER?

No one so far will hazard a guess, but Alsop said he estimates the orange tier, which comes after red, is likely to be months off.

The state requires all counties to remain in a tier for a minimum of three weeks before advancing to the next tier, except for the purple tier. Counties may move out of the purple tier in as soon as two weeks if they achieve the appropriate metrics for another tier that entire time.

WHAT CAN THE PUBLIC DO?

Do not gather with friends and family members outside your household.

Wear a mask.

Wash hands.

Social distance.

If you have symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others. 

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(24) comments

LoveOurFlag

From what I see most of kern is starting to wear a mask indoors. That is why the count is going down. Keep it up kern. We can do this.

Unruly Panda

Enough already.

Please stop posting inane and inaccurate comparisons between flu and Covid.

As of today, the Covid mortality rate in the United States is approximately 3%. That factors in the increasing efficacy of treatment modalities compared with higher death rates at the onset of the pandemic in states like New Jersey and New York. A 3% mortality rate is 3000% higher than flu, which has an average mortality rate of 0.1%.

Deaths from flu are typically associated with patients age 65 and older, with roughly 90% falling into that age group.

Deaths from flu are typically also associated with patients that suffer from various comorbidities, including age, immune deficiency, diabetes, chronic respiratory conditions, etc. Deaths from flu are also associated with secondary, opportunistic infections such as pneumonia.

Sound familiar?

Other than fringe conspiracy theory sources, the vast majority of respected mainstream science endorses the concept of utilizing physical distancing, face coverings, and basic hygiene practices as the primary line of defense against Covid. Those mechanisms will also likely result in a vastly decreased incidence of flu this year.

Also, other than fringe conspiracy theory sources, the vast majority of mainstream epidemiological experts agree that the number of Covid-related deaths is actually currently underreported, rather than the reverse. Of course, the number of actual infections is also likely vastly higher than the number of confirmed cases, so the mortality rate should also drop.

The fact remains that, at this point, Covid is a much more deadly disease than flu. Hopefully that changes with the advent of an effective vaccine and therapeutics that are proven to be efficacious. But that is not where we are right now.

You want to blame Trump? Fine.

You want to blame Newsom? Fine.

You want to blame local Kern officials? Fine.

You want to blame each other? Fine.

Just also acknowledge your own personal responsibility. Maybe if we all take the position that public health is dependent on collective individual actions, the impact and duration of this crisis can be curtailed.

Tellingthetruth

The fact remains: the top “co morbidity” on the list was INFLUENZA!!!!! And you’re correct, influenza does kill mostly that age group, bc it’s not a new virus. Just like covid. Not a new virus. New viruses kill the old AND the young, this covid isn’t new, just given a new name.

And we all know the numbers aren’t higher. They’re lower. Many doctors have come out saying that they were encouraged to write covid if they tested positive whether or not they were in for that. I have a friend in ER who corroborated this. So stop lying.

And you literally prove our point: the more positives, the lower the denominator. Which means, the death rate is way lower.

Deaths for other things have gone down. How does one account for that? KC admitted weeks ago that many were waiting to be treated for other things bc they’re scared of covid, and then dying at home as a result.

The NY death rates are The reason the overall rates are so high. They sent positive patients back to nursing homes and, as several NY whistleblowers have demonstrated, literally murdered ppl in the public hospitals.

I get the narrative. We’ve all heard it. Nothing you say is not what we’ve all literally heard for months. But it doesn’t hold up when there’s so much to dispute what we’ve been told and absolute non sensible, illogical rhetoric that is clearly overt fear mongering.

They wanna sell you their vaccines. Please wake up.

Unruly Panda

Incorrect.

Pulled directly from the CDC website for the period 2/1/2020 to 8/22/2020:

All deaths involving Influenza, with or without Covid-19 or Pneumonia: 6,640

Deaths involving Covid-19 and Pneumonia, and excluding Influenza: 72,527

Deaths involving Pneumonia, with or without Covid-19, excluding Influenza deaths: 169,108

All deaths involving Covid-19: 164,280

As you can tell from the numbers, flu has been associated with a minute percentage (4%) of Covid-19 deaths and those small number of cases were almost certainly concurrent with the end of the flu season at the beginning of the year. So flu is not a material contributor to Covid mortalities.

Pneumonia is more properly characterized as a condition, rather than a disease specific to one pathogen. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, physical trauma, etc. It is obvious that secondary pneumonia is associated with Covid, since one of its primary points of attack is the respiratory system.

And the numbers are not lower. Your "friend in ER" comment is just one more of the Facebook conspiracy theory memes that have been spread. I hate to break it to you, but ER docs do not write death certificates for Covid patients. So...no.

In your own words: Stop Lying.

Tellingthetruth

I’ll give you that: it does say excluding influenza. I was referring to the table for all co morbidites and on the list it is very misleading as it says “influenza and pneumonia.” So they’re combing those numbers but if you look at the vast majority of those deaths you refer to it says “with or WITHOUT” covid and it’s 169,000!!!! So you have to admit it’s very misleading.

Plus, there’s a whole section of over 70,000 set has that are attributed to another, unspecified underlying conditions and a section for accidents and poisonings!

I’ll give you the ones that exclude influenza, but all those other numbers include ppl who were in the hospital dying already and then contracted covid!

I understand pneumonia is. It’s often a secondary infection and you can’t deny that many pneumonia deaths are nasocomial.

As far as death certificates, we know that doctors contribute to them. That’s what the codes are for. Just bc they get moved from ER to another unit, doesn’t mean there’s not another doc contributing to the information on cause of death. The truth is, most coroners and medical examinerS don’t do autopsies and you know it. A cursory study of would lead you to this knowledge. This article literally lists the physician as writing cause of death unless otherwise requested by the family for autopsy.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526015/

Bodysnatcher

The CDC has updated COVID-19 mortality information where 94% of all Covid deaths were due to serious underlying ailments and NOT Covid alone!! Of the 183,000+ deaths, so far, only 6% (approximately 10,000 deaths) are from Covid. The regular strains of flu (A &B) kills between 8,000 to 20,000 people, on average, each year in the United States. Open the economy up! This is ridiculous!

The Independent Voter

Bodysnatcher, the media is already actively discrediting the obvious interpretation of those CDC numbers. They will never admit the truth because doing so would enrage the masses who have lost close to six months of their lives to a lie.

Mrknowitall

No. We wil not open the economy. 😂. Especially when we have savages that cannot decipher simple data—such as yourself. We will re-open when yOU behave yourselves and act like a human with intelligence. Can’t do it? Then NO open!! 😂 No ticki-no laundry!!

Judging by the behaviors exhibited—KC will NEVER go below the dreary level they are at now. And they got it the old-fashioned way—they earned it! Congrats.

So now all the weakling public officials that stood by and did ZERO to encourage enforcement have created a monster. No consequences? The Good Old Boys showed ya how they respond to trust. They go hog-wild. And the enforcement the people rely on for security and life free from virus? They happily bragged that free choice aka FatBioy RedFace Trump was the dead-end path they loved! Look around. This is what ya got? Happy now? 😂 😂. So shut yer jaws and get with the program. OR never re-open. It took the governor to slap some sense into backwater backward thing KC. So straighten up Jethro or we will have to institute $500 fine 1st offense no mask-congregating—$1,000 next. Then six months in jail. The a year. 😂. Jail will give ya all you desire. Covid-19. Good luck. I’ll pray for ya

Bodysnatcher

You’re a sad sack. You don’t have to live in fear all your life. Bless your heart.

Masked 2020

I not ready to go out in the world and run around naked yet....I have goals... I am trying not to be one of the first 300,000 deaths which I guess Kevin and Don are now saying that as long as we stay below 3 million we are MAGAing along just greatly...... moving the goalpost again.... dang...Vote-Biden Harris 2020....

Heather Picket

I can't even remember when Kern averaged 65 cases a day, let alone a weekly average. It will be 4-6 weeks at least to move to red at minimum. This new system is nothing more than Newsom kicking the can down the road. Once flu season kicks in, the state will include those numbers as cases and we will be toggled back to purple. Newsom stated in a press conference that Covid-19 will be around for awhile. Looking at the 4 tiers, yellow tier, the best case scenario is still very limited for some businesses. The problem at the end of the day in Ca is where does this end. Under this new system, Newsom can keep us locked down as long as wants.

The Independent Voter

Nailed it, Heather. Newsom is devious.

Tellingthetruth

And that’s exactly their goals. They’re doing this all over the world. The only leaders that are fighting it are trump, Sweden and a few in Africa. Everyone else just bowed to the globalists running the UN and WHO.

Literally the top “underlying condition” on the list was INFLUENZA!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me ppl???

Here’s what it’s like: the media says “hey guys, your car’s on Fire!” So everyone runs out and starts trying to find the alleged fire. They keep saying “oh it’s right there...wait no now it’s in the engine...nope, we were wrong it’s in the trunk...” All while God, with His still small voice says “guys, your house is on fire....It’s being consumed....*louder*....Please turn around and stop listening to these ppl.”

The house gets consumed, you cry in the rubble, the media drives off in your perfectly good car and you later find out, they’re the ones who set fire to the house.

Masked 2020

Bingo....

Moardeeb

It just takes a few Trump supporters to screwup everything for everyone else.

Lamonster

That's the same truism that had Christine Peterson wondering whether to shut this forum down. Try to do better.

Veritas

And yet it is a proven fact the worst COVID areas are Democratic. Hmmmm... go figure

Mrknowitall

Umm yeah. The virus can detect what party to infect. So ignorant. A gem. A jewel as usual. 😂. Had to pout on yer thinking cap for a week to drum up that ridiculous post. Dems dominate big population centers. The Cities. Not the outback of uneducated n unsophisticated ‘hollers’ and rural mountain-mentality outposts in da country. Think the Harfields and the McCoys. 😂. Then look in the mirror. Drive by the river in Oildale. Then look in the mirror. YOU are not Dems here. But you are bursting with virus. Covid runs rampant amongst you. And you embrace the behaviors that spread it. Just wait till the residual damage to organs in folks exposed to the virus becomes clear. Since ya don’t read science—u will find out last. 😂. But don’t worry. FatBoy Red will pay your medical bills. Support your family. Lol. Oh. You will be on welfare. And you won’t walk so proudly ever against. Due to sheer pigheadedness and Dust Bowl ignorance. In the meantime, now down and do what yer master Newsome tells you. Before we put all of you in jail that flaunt virus prevention protocols. That’s right. Or get out if Cali and go back to the hills you trudged down from. And take yer wives and cousins ( in many cases in KC they are one and the same). For now... fetch my cigars and a chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and a light gravy! And don’t forget my house shoes. Signed: yer Daddy.

dominate

Veritas

You poor loon, you’re back to off your rocker stage. You’re own leftist publications provided that information, but as typical of you political extremists you only spout information that fits your sect. Facts don’t matter, obviously.

I really like how you try to refute what someone writes by using racist comments and your bigotry is astounding. More fuel for those who wish to end the BC comments section. If you have an intelligent counter-response to someone’s opinion then by all means do it, but if it is going to be like your typical blathering responses then don’t waste our time.

The Independent Voter

Are you suggesting, Dweeb, that Trump is winning the Hispanic vote? With higher incidences of COVID striking heavily in prominent Hispanic communities in the county for reasons previously published in the Californian, that revelation paired with your intriguing statement above seems to suggest it. Good for Trump!

Gene Pool Chlorinator

You are beyond clueless Dweeb.

Somewhere a village is missing its idiot...

Mrknowitall

No. He’s not missing. You are alive and well right here in The Californian. Now I’m off to Paris. Seems the architecture at several tourist destinations needs restoration and I’m one of the few on the planet that can formulate the game plan. Tsk. Tsk. To my many fans, adios.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@MrKnowNothingAtAll:

Oh nice one- are you actually writing your own material now?

How's this one then:

So, you're going to Paris, yet end your post with "adios"- might want to recheck your airline ticket, genius...

Are you ever going to answer my question as to why you were SO wrong with your death estimate? I'd love to see how you spin that one...

#MIT

Veritas

You know, I really feel sorry for his wife. I wonder how many missing at-risk adult reports she has to file each month because he thinks he is going to Oxford or Paris. Sad.

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