BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Thursday morning Kern County Public Health said that they are closely monitoring several factors that are causing concern in the county's battle against COVID-19.
According to Kern County Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Also, the health department has seen an increase in the rate of COVID-19 transmissions, as well as an elevated rate of hospitalizations. These two rates, along with hospital capacity, are the factors the county uses to determine how quickly it can move through re-opening.
Kern County Public Health Services Director Matt Constantine said the department is talking with the state to help determine what is driving those increases, including if skilled nursing facilities and local prisons may be driving factors.
"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.
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.
In addition, the county announced that 13 of 19 skilled nursing facilities in the county have reported positive cases of COVID-19. As part of the testing, the county said the facilites would have to go through a checklist and develop a mitigation plan that will need to be provided to the state. The state will then work with specific counties to figure out the proper support needed for the facilities.
During this morning's briefing, public health officials reporting there have been more than 3,000 positive cases of COVID-19 locally. Of those, more than 2,000 have recovered. Unfortunately, 51 people locally have died of coronavirus.