Kern County sets single-day record in COVID-19 deaths as state offers aid packages for schools, low-income residents

Kern County Public Health reported a single-day record in coronavirus-related deaths announcing 37 new deaths in its latest update on its COVID-19 dashboard.
Coronavirus Kern County
Posted at 2:34 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 19:36:22-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — After a mild few weeks in Kern County coronavirus deaths sky-rocketed. Public health reported 37 new COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday. That is the highest single-day number reported during the pandemic to date bringing the total for the county to 727.

Michelle Corson from Kern County Public Health said when these numbers are reported it's important to keep in mind there is often a backlog in the data. This means 37 Kern County residents did in fact die because of COVID-19 related illnesses but they didn't die all at once like it might seem based on the data.

Corson added that some people who died were tested for COVID-19 after the fact. If a test comes back positive the death is lumped in with the other coronavirus deaths.

Public health also reported 308 new COVID-19 cases Thursday. That marks more than 101,000 for the county so far.

Earlier this week public health attributed a drop in new infections to a significant decrease in coronavirus testing in the county.

From Sunday to Tuesday public health did not report any COVID-19 deaths. Then Wednesday three were reported. And Thursday that huge spike in data with 37 deaths.

When it comes to coronavirus cases the numbers are all over the board. Monday marked a drop in cases but the numbers trended up to 308 by Thursday.

After weeks of negotiations, California legislators agreed on a $6.5 billion proposal to help reopen schools. The proposal would expand upon an idea the governor floated last year and triples funding for schools.

It also stipulates that public health departments across California must offer vaccinations to all teachers and school staff.

The proposal does not mandate that schools reopen but it does set a timeline for reopening if schools plan to bring students back.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are looking to provide some extra relief for low-income Californians struggling during the pandemic. Governor Gavin Newsom rolled out a $9.6 billion coronavirus aid package this week.

The proposal would send $600 to people in the state who make less than $30,000 a year.

Some aid would also be allocated for undocumented people in the state who were overlooked when it came to previous rounds of federal stimulus checks.