Kern County Board of Supervisors discuss moving back into the purple tier, mask requirements

Kern County Board of Supervisors
Posted at 10:35 AM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 15:22:33-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — County Health Director Matt Constantine delivered the grim news Tuesday morning that Kern County is officially back in the purple tier and that all restrictions associated with that move will go into effect today and not Friday.

Constantine said the governor initiated an "emergency brake" provision in the state's COVID-19 directives to make immediate changes if there was a surge in cases. So, instead of 3 days to make changes, it's now within 24 hours. Also, tiers are monitored and changed each week now instead of every two weeks.

There has also been talk about freezing some counties who are in the purple tier for weeks or longer until Newsom decides when they come off.

There was also a discussion on making mask requirements stronger. For example, only taking them off at restaurants when you're actually eating and doing away with the exemption for younger kids at school.

The possibility of a curfew was also discussed, including one option starting at 9 or 10 p.m.

Constantine said hospital space is still good but the metric is only updated every three weeks. He added that the county just received 95 doses of a new therapeutic for use on specific patients who are diagnosed with the virus.

Several health equity teams are in Delano. Their mission is to increase awareness and testing in outlying communities. The first testing site should be ready to go in Delano on Thursday.