Kern County will soon make publicly available more information on the 251 people who have died from COVID-19.
The county signed a contract earlier this week with an expert in health privacy who will determine for the county what data can be made public while still complying with state requirements for not identifying individuals. It's unclear when the data will be made available, but it could be as early as next week.
The county previously contracted with the same expert, at a cost of $6,000, after it came under scrutiny for not releasing more information on the county's COVID-19 cases earlier in the year.
Subsequently, the county began providing age ranges, sex and ethnicity of confirmed COVID-19 infections. However, up until now only a cumulative number of deaths has been provided.
"We're hopeful that now ... we may have the ability to share information about those who have passed away in the communities," Kern County Public Health Services Director Matt Constantine told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
Constantine said the county would like to release as much data as possible on COVID-19 deaths, including coexisting conditions that were present among those who died and where in the county the person lived.