BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Kern County officials announced the county is in position to meet the new criteria for reopening, laid out by Gov. Gavin Newsom during Monday's press briefing.
According to tweets from the County, officials said, " We’ve reviewed these changes, which are in line with our recent requests of his Administration & can confirm that Kern is positioned to meet the criteria."
The County said it will be asking the Board of Supervisors to approve its request for reopening, as early as Tuesday. Once approved, the County will send its request to the state for approval.
"If the State approves our variance, we’ll begin work immediately to start reopening the businesses within Stage 2, continuing to adhere to State guidance," the County tweeted.
We’re pleased to hear the Governor’s announcement today that he’s changing the criteria for CA counties to submit a variance. We’ve reviewed these changes, which are in line with our recent requests of his Administration & can confirm that Kern is positioned to meet the criteria. pic.twitter.com/JGTPVSyoge
— County of Kern (@CountyofKern) May 18, 2020
It is important to note, the County must still be approved before it is allowed to move through the phases faster.
Newsom estimated 53 of 58 counties could meet the new criteria, although he did not specify which five counties did not meet the criteria.
The changes eliminate requirements that a county have zero deaths and no more than one case per 10,000 residents over 14 days. Counties no longer will have to meet a threshold for deaths. They can have up to 25 cases per 100,000 residents or no higher than an 8% positive rate among people tested for the virus.
They also must have no higher than a 5% increase in hospitalizations over a 7-day period or fewer than 20 hospitalizations over 14 days. The latter will ensure small counties don't get penalized for just one or two extra hospitalizations.