There are 2,804 total cases of COVID-19 in Kern County with two new deaths reported Monday morning. This brings the total to 47.
More than half of those deaths can be attributed to local senior nursing facilities. The Kingston Healthcare Center has experienced 19 deaths as a result of COVID-19, Valley Convalescent Hospital has seen 6 deaths, and The Orchard Post Acute Care has had one death within the facility.
"These SNFs [Skilled Nursing Facilities] continue to be a concern for our local public health team," said Kern County Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop.
More than 1,800 residents have recovered and nearly 30,000 tests have come back negative. Public Health said Kern County's average for new cases has increased from 30 to about 50.
When asked if the recent protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis may have contributed to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, Kern County Public health said it was the result of multiple factors.
"We do think there are multiple factors that play into seeing this increase number of cases," explained Kern County Public Health. "One of the most contributing factors this is the additional testing that we have implemented now allowing those that are asymptomatic to be tested."
When asked to respond to the statements during the early stages of the pandemic by Dr. Dan Erickson of Accelerated Urgent Care, who theorized that there would be a lot of cases, but a low death rate and promoted a herd-immunity approach, Alsop referred to him as being a "courageous doctor."
"The county never took a stance, to my knowledge, on those comments. I can only say from my personal comments, my personal thoughts on the matter, are that I think that Dr. Erickson is courageous, and I think he made a lot of good points when he talked about the numbers and the data," said Alsop. "He said a lot of important things in his long press briefing he had. There are many, many different opinions coming from many, many different places about his comments, but I think he is a courageous doctor. I think he spoke his mind and he told everybody what he believed and so for that I think he gets a lot of credit for being courageous and stepping up early on and that's as honest and thoughtful as I can be on that matter."
Watch his full statement below: