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Coronavirus cases continue their rollercoaster ride in Kern County

COVID-19 Testing Site Sign
Posted at 11:54 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 14:54:27-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The number of daily positive tests for COVID-19 continues its rollercoaster ride. Following Tuesday's record-breaking day for coronavirus cases, the numbers on Wednesday have been cut in half.

Kern County Public Health reported just under a thousand new COVID cases, a day after that record of more than 2,000.

Public health said Tuesday that the record number included cases from local prisons and skilled nursing facilities. It's not known if the latest numbers included either group.

There were no new deaths reported. That total number in Kern County sits at 470.

Tuesday morning Dignity Health holding a roundtable with local hospital officials about the rollout of the COVID vaccine and the response to the growing number of cases.

Terri Church, the chief nursing officer at Bakersfield Memorial, said while their hospital has been overwhelmed and staff has been inundated they're still able to treat each patient that comes in.

"We are unfortunately calling people on their day off. Mercy's doing it. We're doing it. Sometimes we call them twice a day because sometimes they may change their mind. A lot of time if they know you safely can't take care of patients and are over ratios. Oftentimes we will get staff to come in on the second phone call," she said. "It's a tough situation. Somedays we go 'we're not going to make it.' We always figure out a way to make it work without going over the ratios we have in California. It's been very rare we have cases. Last time was 09 with H1N1."
During the roundtable, officials said they should see the Pfizer vaccine arrive in the coming days and could see the Moderna vaccine arrive in Kern County as early as January.

The Pew Research center conducted a survey and found that 40 percent of Americans are unwilling to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them.