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Kern County braces for COVID surge

Posted: 5:20 PM, Jan 07, 2022
Updated: 2022-01-07 20:20:03-05
Coronavirus Kern County

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — New troubling data from the Kern County Public Health Department showing that the surge of COVID-19 cases health officials here predicted would happen is now underway. On Friday, the county dashboard reveals more than 1,500 positive tests.

That's an increase of more than 500 from Thursday, pushing the total since the start of the pandemic to more than 169,000. There is one more case of the omicron variant and nine new deaths. So far,1,931 deaths have been attributed to the virus.

The increase in numbers is something the local director of public health said was coming during her report at Tuesday's Kern County Board of Supervisor's meeting.

"We are gearing up for the potential of another surge in our pre-hospital and hospital system," said Brynn Carrigan. "We currently have two state staff teams that are in Kern County that have expanded both regular and ICU hospital bed capacity at Kern Medical and Adventist Health Bakersfield and Delano."

National and local health officials say this surge is the reason why they say more people need to get vaccinated. Local hospitalization numbers indicate that getting vaccinated may help.

According to the Kern County Public Health Department only 291 people who were vaccinated have been hospitalized compared to the more than 3,000 unvaccinated who have been hospitalized.

In comparison, only .06-percent of the local vaccinated population have been in the hospital whereas nearly 92 percent of those not vaccinated were hospitalized.