KERN COUNTY, Calif. — There's been a surge in COVID-19 cases across the state and here in Kern County. Case numbers on Monday spiking compared to last week.
On Sunday, 203 new COVID-19 cases were reported but Monday that number jumped. There are now over 900 new cases according to Kern County Public Health.
On Monday, 23ABC's Alex Bell spoke with a Public Health official who said they are worried about the upward trend in case numbers and that the increase may be caused by a combination of things.
"Today's numbers are startling to any of us that follow the daily cases that are announced," said Michelle Corson, public relations officer for Kern County Public Health. "This does concern us because when you begin to get a rise in cases you begin to get a rise in hospitalizations."
Across California, there's been an increase of COVID-19 cases reported. Corson, said the health department believes the increase in local cases is due to a combination of impacts, such as more residents testing, and an increase of indoor gatherings now that temperatures have dropped. Corson says one of the main sources of transmission that's been identified is gatherings.
"This continues to be a concern for us and our community," said Corson.
She also said due to the rise in cases, hospitalizations and ICU beds are filling up, but maintains hospitals are not maxed out and the county is ready.
"We're already concerned about the burden on our healthcare system when we're also in the midst of flu season," added Corson.
If needed, Corson said the Alternative Care site at the Kern County Fairgrounds can be fully operational within two days if hospitals become overwhelmed. And Corson encouraged all residents to get tested to minimize the spread and identify asymptomatic residents. She added there's one thing that's important to get out of the purple tier.
"Now is the time to wear your mask when you leave your house. It's that simple," added Corson.
Public Health encouraged residents to stay home if you are sick and of course continue to practice other safe habits like washing your hands, social distancing, and getting tested.
As far as what this means for the health of local businesses, Corson says Public Health is adhering to state recommendations for counties who fall in the purple tier.
Currently a curfew is in place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Corson says as of now there are no new changes to current state mandates.