KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KERO) — The number of positive tests for coronavirus reported in Kern County is closing in on 43,000 as state officials wait to see the impact of the holiday weekend.
After the cases jumped by more than 600 on Tuesday the state reported another 323 on Wednesday bringing the total to 42,937 since the pandemic began. There were two new deaths attributed to the virus. That number now stands at 451.
The county's COVID dashboard is reporting 115 people hospitalized locally due to the virus. That number has increased from just over 30 on November 1st.
More than 31,200 people have recovered or are presumed to have recovered of the nearly 43,000 infected with more than 11,000 people isolating at home.
The most vulnerable group, residents 65 and over, still make up just 8 percent of the total positive cases.
With that as a backdrop, a new warning from the White House Coronavirus Task Force. A report obtained by ABC showed the task force is now saying "everyone over the age of 65 or with significant health conditions should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked."
The task force meeting Wednesday with state governors giving that guidance as the pandemic continues to spike. That report also acknowledging the severity of the pandemic saying "the COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high."
It goes on to say "if state and local policies do not reflect the seriousness of the current situation all public health officials must alert the state population directly."
Meantime, the CDC is considering a "shorter" quarantine period. Officials are expected to trim COVID-19 quarantine recommendations from 14-days to seven-to-ten days after exposure.
Officials described the decision as data-driven and said it has been under review for weeks.
Health officials stress that people still need to wear masks, wash their hands, and keep socially distanced.