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Kern County Public Health director lashes out at state over nursing homes

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 20:32:38-04

The Kern County Board of Supervisors held its meeting Tuesday where the board discussed numerous topics regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Director of Public Health Matt Constantine spoke before the board and addressed concerns with cases at nursing homes.

"Skilled nursing facilities are completely and solely monitored by the state. The county does not even enter those facilities," explained Constantine. "However, we are suffering the potential economic impact for what I believe is the state's failure to take immediate and adequate action to provide controls and response when COVID-19 strikes a skilled nursing facility."

Constantine also laid out concerns with those facilities. One of those concerns is that two of the facilities are dealing with outbreaks but are still accepting patients. He said that is not OK and the state needs to intervene.

On Monday Constantine said 12 of the 19 nursing facilities in the county have reported positive cases and officials said over half of the 54 deaths are from three different state-regulated skilled nursing facilities.

Overall, officials are now reporting more than 3,400 cases in Kern County. That's an increase of 85 cases since Monday. Officials are also reporting another death due to the virus bringing that total to 54.

Nearly 2,300 residents have recovered with 96 percent having fully recovered or are recovering from home.

More than 36,000 or nearly 90 percent of tests have come back negative.