BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Kern County Public Health officials have updated the demographics surrounding COVID-19 related deaths for the first time since October of last year.
Friday's updated chart indicates the 65-and older age bracket continues to have the lowest number of positive tests with the highest number of deaths. The county dashboard is now reporting 444 of the 658 total deaths are in residents 65 and over. That represents 67% of all COVID-19 related deaths. There have been no deaths in children under the age of 18.
"Most of the discrepancies that we see in race and ethnicity appear to be socio-economically related," said Kim Hernandez, Assistance Division Director of Health Services at Kern County Public Health. "In general, it falls in line with what we see in California."
Hispanics make up 60% of all the fatalities while Kern’s Hispanic population is only 52.6%. According to a statement released by Kern County Public Health: "African Americans make up 6.0% of the population and have 5.9% of the deaths, which is proportionate. White and Other are less affected, respectively having 34.0% and 7.4% of the population, but only 28.9% and 5.9% of deaths."
Kern County Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop tweeted out that "makes account for 60.2% of deaths, while only accounting for 50.8% of the population."
Only 17 of the total number of deaths involved people with "no" pre-existing conditions. Hypertension and diabetes were contributing factors in more than 450 deaths.
As for the latest numbers, there were eight more deaths added to the total pushing it to 658. The number of people hospitalized is down to 161.
"Every number that you see on our dashboard is a person, and every person has a family, and a friend group, so this is affecting all of us," Hernandez said.
There were 521 new positive tests lifting the total number of cases to more than 96,000.
Patients in the 18-to-49 age group making up more than 58,000 of those cases and 69 deaths.