Kern County total cases and new cases-22.png

Kern County is no longer meeting state thresholds for managing COVID-19 transmission as of Thursday morning and is now one of 11 counties on a state watchlist. 

"Kern County is experiencing elevated disease transmission and increasing hospitalization," says an entry for the county on the California Department of Public Health's "targeted engagement" list.

The website says drivers of elevated virus spread in Kern are outbreaks at skilled nursing facilities and in state and federal prisons, and residents in surrounding counties being admitted to the county hospital. 

"It's very important that all residents in Kern County and all businesses that are reopening follow public health guidance," county Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop said during a news briefing Thursday morning. "Those guidelines need to be followed; if you're going out to eat or get a haircut it's important you follow the guidance of the establishment where you're going."

Counties on the watchlist may have to implement local shutdown orders or pull back on some reopenings if they can't find ways to effectively stem virus spread, but no specific triggers are in place at this time. 

The county reported 74 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday morning, bringing total cases to date in Kern to 3,026. Deaths remain at the previously reported 51.

The state has reported that 26 of the deaths and at least 135 of the diagnosed cases in Kern were residents of nursing homes, and at least an additional 75 cases were among health care workers in nursing homes. Of Kern's 19 state-regulated nursing homes, 12 have had health care workers test positive, county officials said. And at least two facilities have active outbreaks among patients.

The state's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website shows nine cases among state prison inmates in Kern County. 

A county monitoring chart from the state health department shows Kern is out of compliance for its positivity rate and its increase in hospitalizations.

A county must not have more than 25 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in a recent 14-day period and a positivity rate above 8 percent in a recent seven-day period, according to state thresholds. Kern is seeing 78 cases per 100,000 residents and its positivity rate was 8.2 percent on Thursday.

Additionally, counties that have a 10 percent increase in hospitalized COVID-19 patients during the past three days compared to the previous three days are deemed to be above the acceptable threshold. Kern's rate was 24 percent as of Thursday.

Once a county is on the state's watchlist, the state health department protocols say the state will work with the the county on how to respond. 

"If a county is not able to address a localized outbreak it should consider reinstitution sector limitations or more general stay-at-home provisions," according to information from the state health department’s website.

Kern County is currently exploring what it will do, Alsop said. But in the meantime, the county is allowing any businesses in any industry to reopen for which the state has issued guidance. That includes retail stores, office buildings, campgrounds, casinos, day camps, movie theaters, gyms, hotels, museums, zoos, restaurants, bars, wineries, houses of worship and schools. 

The county is monitoring businesses that reopen to ensure they adhere to guidance and has relied on education since the start of the pandemic to get cooperation from both businesses and the public.

"We are going to continue to have those discussions. ... if we're not able to address those trends, we may have to act locally in some way to pull back. That doesn't mean we close everything down necessarily but we're going to have to be open to considering actions that we may need to take if we're unsuccessful in getting upward trends under control," Alsop said. 

If the county still fails to make sufficient progress, the state's public health officer has the authority to intervene and take action.

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(13) comments

Shakti

The increase in hospitalization and positivity rates are helpful in giving a picture of the spread locally. Can we get more of those numbers in the daily reporting of coronavirus cases?

Masked 2020

lets go whole hog....... daily number of in intubated Covid patients

REMUDA

Expletive deleted . . . (not)

REMUDA

And . . . and . . . remember who was the first c0v19 . . . ? Outlander . . . like now. Also not nation-wide per WH.

REMUDA

Still like to know which counties are up . . . near . . . far . . . ? Fake news often deletes cogent questions. Latest is care facilities fake deaths for $$. Who's running this show . . . us or 'them' . . . ?

Veritas

If anyone thinks ‘what’s my name again?’ Biden is a good choice then you are just as bad as any Trumpite. But you hold that partisan line yuckies, as long as you can keep your dementia at bay.

Masked 2020

dang... what hit the markets today......Looks like Nancy and Chuck are going to have to change Trumps dirty diaper again...its loaded with Pandemic...how may Trillions will they have to borrow this time..... Vote 4 Sleepy Joe in November....We deserve a Fighting chance

Gene Pool Chlorinator

You know that Dems passed the bill you are referring to, right?

You also obviously know nothing about the stock market, but I won't go there because they couldn't pay me enough to teach you the first chapter in that book...

Vote for Joe- yeah, that's how desperate your party has gotten- the guy doesn't even know where he is half the time. Kind of like you- I mean you constantly ramble about not being very smart, so I'll just agree with you to dissuade further arguments...

Moardeeb

Eric lives and breathes the stock market. His Dad will have to give him some extra playdough to eat tonight.

casones

Hey, dumb, or are you dumber? Carrey or Daniels? You obviously have no clue of the stock market. Investors are pulling out of the exchange-trade funds market in droves! These funds track an index rather than an individual company's bonds. The fact the stock market rebounded late today, the index is hugely unstable! Company bonds are, overall, erratic, despite underperforming and overperforming reporting. Make no mistake, the index is scaring investors. You have no clue.

Veritas

Oh poor rambling casones, which WS article did you pull that market status information from? I know you don’t have a clue what your talking about because the sentence structure alone is above your normal ability to write. At least yuckies sites where she gets her cut and paste comments, sometimes.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@Cajones, I highly doubt you wrote any of that and the stock market is much more than bonds...

I have made a ton of money purchasing undervalued stocks and ETFs, while you probably pay someone else to manage your 401K, that you've likely already made early withdrawals for to pay for a boat or other such toy...

The markets are volatile, but that's built into the pie already.

Being the self-professed braniac you are (Mr.KnowNothingAtAll), you probably worship at the altar of the VIX. Go ahead and while you're clutching your pearls watching those numbers, I'm making some of the best value purchases I've made in many years of trading.

#DontPretendToBeSmart

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Moardeeb

Cases going up? The price of haircuts and church socials.

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