Kern County Public Health officials discuss the governor's new guidelines

Posted at 12:09 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 20:13:44-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — On Thursday, Kern County Public Health officials spoke for the first time since Governor Gavin Newsom's order shutting down restaurants and other indoor services in the county and much of the state.

The governor announced several sectors of business will be affected in 19 counties, including Kern. This comes just a few days after he ordered bars to shut down again. Aside from Kern other counties include Los Angeles, Ventura, and Tulare.

All indoor operations are ordered to close at restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment facilities, zoos, museums, and cardrooms.

Kern county public health officials addressed the new order Thursday morning saying they're working with local businesses to sort out any confusion. Kern County Public Health Director Matt Constantine went on to say that the county's hospitalization availability remains high. He said as of Thursday Kern County has 795 beds and 65 ICU's available.

County health officials say most COVID-19 testing sites will be closed for the Fourth of July. The only testing site in Kern County that will be open Saturday is the one in Oildale at Good Samaritan Hospital.

During the news briefing officials also addressed how the state would enforce the guidelines.

"Now as you saw from the governor, they have established a strike team that is made up of a number of different licensing agencies," explained Constantine. "The governor indicated that the strike team could be used to provide enforcement if needed at the local level."

Constantine said they have not been provided information on whether that strike team is coming to Kern County. He went on to say that they have seen the state licensing agencies have been active in kern to respond to facilities that are not complying with guidelines.

Constantine said Kern County has not been given the option to ask the strike team to come to Kern.