Kern County total cases and new cases-24.png

A new model estimates coronavirus cases in Kern County will peak eight months from now, in February 2021, but available hospital beds for critically ill patients could run out as soon as this fall. 

The predictions were presented in a Monday morning briefing during which county officials emphasized that everyone must still do their part to flatten the curve in order to help hospitals meet the likely growing need for care. Officials urged the public to continue following all guidelines for personal protection and those put in place by businesses that are reopening.

"The model shows we need to do more. We need to flatten the curve so we have the ability to care for everybody we may need to put in an ICU bed," said Matt Constantine, director of Kern County Public Health Services Department. "The last two months have been effective at bringing down that curve, bringing down that peak. We need to bring it down even more."

The model, provided to counties by state government, shows that Kern County will reach a peak of 679 hospitalizations in February 2021, with 436 of those patients in the ICU, Constantine said. 

The current ICU capacity of 78 beds among Kern's 10 hospitals will be exceeded by the end of July, the model shows. However, hospitals have already drawn up plans to quickly scale up their ICU bed capacity to 294 beds if necessary. But even that amount will fall short by November of what the model estimates will be needed.

There were 86 new cases of COVID-19 in Kern announced Monday, bringing the county total to 3,377 cases out of about 40,000 people tested so far.

One-third of the cases are active infections and 53 people have died. Active infections have nearly doubled in the past month, from about 500 on May 15 to over 1,000 on Monday.

The latest state figures show 79 people are hospitalized in Kern due to the virus, with 33 of those patients in the ICU.

Russel Judd, CEO of Kern Medical, said hospitals have triggers in place to scale up the number of ICU beds so there's no immediate concern about local capacity issues.

Judd and others stressed that the model is only a prediction of what could happen based on current conditions. The state indicated the model is most accurate for a 30-day time period, Constantine said, and the county will re-run it monthly to update the estimates. 

The model uses as inputs the county's population, current hospitalizations rates, number of available hospital and ICU beds, when the county implemented intervention measures and the degree of compliance with those measures in the community.

"If people follow the recommendations, this graph does not have to become our reality and this can stay within our capacity to manage," Judd said. He said an earlier model predicted a peak to happen sooner but because the public did its part by staying home, wearing masks and social distancing, those early predictions didn't come to fruition. 

County Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop said even with businesses reopening, Kern can keep its virus activity at bay if people and businesses follow guidelines for personal protection.

"People are not going to be getting sick from businesses reopening. People will get sick because they're making poor personal public health choices," Alsop said.

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(14) comments

My thoughts

We need our officials to make wearing mask mandatory when in public. If you think our numbers wont go up after opening churches, gyms, movies and schools you are part of the problem. My opinion has nothing to do with who I voted for or who I'll be voting, its based on losing a loved one to COVID19 and hearing from so many people that have contracted the virus or have loved ones that are no longer with us. If wearing a mask means I help keep people safe then I am all in.

Masked 2020

thank you....... that's what the "good me" should of said

Masked 2020

I heard they were already offering RNs big bonus bucks to work a extra shift......folks shouldn't count on a bed in the inn if Trumps Covid catches them....


Why pander to people who refuse to wear a mask and keep a distance from others? The laws don't pander to them when it comes to breaking other rules of safety, like jaywalking. Or speeding in their car. Or brandishing an unlawful weapon. Or a thousand other laws. Their arrogance, ignorance, and anti-social behavior should not be what keeps the coronavirus active and a danger to us all.


A team of researchers in Texas and California compared Covid-19 infection rate trends in Italy and New York both before and after face masks were made mandatory. Both locations started to see infection rates flatten only after mandatory face mask measures were put in place, according to the study published Thursday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers calculated that wearing face masks prevented more than 78,000 infections in Italy between April 6 and May 9, and more than 66,000 infections in New York City between April 17 and May 9.

Independent Voter

LOL Dweeb.


The most qualified and experienced pandemic and epidemiological experts and professionals mostly say that reopening businesses, of any kind, at this stage is a recipe for disaster. Why doesn't the city of Bakersfield and/or Kern County officials make wearing a mask and keeping a 6' distance, mandatory, punishable by law? if your brake light isn't working, you get stopped and cited and fined. The coronavirus can affect a lot more people than a broken brake light has the potential to harm. The United States' number one priority and goal has always been about one thing - consumerism. But now's the time to make something else #1. Protection against the coronavirus. It's a matter of life and death.


It's all a left wing conspiracy to stop our great president !!!!!!!


I hope you are joking,


Yeah, Over 119,000 deaths to stop that idiot. You do know some of those were republicans, don't you? Oh, I know, they voted by mail before they perished


And there it is--down with consumerism, AKA capitalism. Even the most corrupt, totalitarian socialist governments understand that the consumption of goods is the heart of our very existence. It is consumerism that provides the means for those ICU beds and everything else that keeps society functioning. Keep businesses and the economy shut down long enough and a disease that claims around .003% will pale in comparison.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@Lamonster- excuse me while I feign shock, considering the source...


No it is not consumerism which provides ICU beds! An ICU bed can last 20 years, therefore, the consumption of goods, as you call it, has a very, very, weak appetite. The consumption of some goods helps our existence, yet 300 years ago people existed living off the land not buying much because they had so little. Jesus, typical trumper scared to return to a society which places no value on the dollar. People will always exist, despite even if the economy is gone. They will survive. Unbelievable


The United States' number one priority and goal has always been about one thing - consumerism HAHAHA NOT THE UNITED STATES, KING TRUMP, PRINCE KUSHNER, PRINCE MCCARTHY, PRINCE MCCONNELL, AND JESTER MNUCHIN

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