Kern County on a state watchlist due to increase in COVID-19 rates

COVID-19 Testing Site Sign
Posted at 2:41 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 17:43:44-04

According to the state's COVID-19 website, Kern is one of 11 counties being monitored due to increased concerns over transmission rates.

The California Department of Public Health website keeps track of three factors related to COVID-19: Elevated Disease Transmission, Increasing Hospitalizations, and Limited Hospital ​Capacity. Counties are "flagged for not meeting the objective set for that indicator."

The CDPH website states that "Kern County (has variance) is experiencing elevated disease transmission and increasing hospitalization. Drivers of this include 1) outbreaks at SNFs and state/federal prisons and 2) residents in surrounding counties being admitted to their county hospital. Key action steps include: 1) communicate and coordinate with CDPH to provide Infection Preventionists expertise to assist SNFs and to ensure baseline testing at these facilities; 2) promote community testing sites; and, 3) targeted outreach and improve public messaging and education on the importance personal protection measures across various sectors."

Kern County Chief Operating Officer Ryan Alsop expressed concerns over the situation during the Public Health briefing Thursday morning.

"We are seeing elevated transmission of COVID-19, along with elevated hospitalization rates. These trends if they continue may impact how we continue to reopen locally," said Alsop.

CAO Ryan Also: Seeing increase in transmission rates

Though the county did not announce any plans to slow or reverse reopening, Alsop did say that they would be closely monitoring those factors in the days ahead.

Alsop also emphasized the importance of residents following the current health department guidelines regarding social distancing, hand washing, and the use of personal protective equipment such as masks and face coverings to help prevent the spread of the disease.

"Whether you are a business owner or not, all residents of this county, please continue to adhere to public health guidance as you go about your lives, as you go about reopening your businesses, as you go about going to those businesses in or around your friends please use best practices."