BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — We may be seeing some light at the end of the dark pandemic tunnel, as Kern Public Health said we could be getting out of this COVID surge.
According to data from the state, hospitalizations and cases are coming down.
Hospitalizations are coming down, they peaked on Jan. 25 with 331 cases, that’s more than 100 than Tuesday. That decrease applies to cases too.
“I’m happy to bring your board good news this morning. As it appears our cases and hospitalizations have peaked from this fourth surge and we are in a downward trend of disease transmission rates,” Brynn Carrigan, Director of Kern County Public Health.
Director Carrigan said case rates have come significantly down just in the past two weeks.
“The case rate was 81.5. At my presentation two weeks ago, it was 178.3.”
As of Tuesday, 43 people were in the ICU with COVID but it was 57 on January 25. Carrigan said data shows about a third of patients in the ICU are COVID positive.
“With each of the four surges, preliminarily shows the severity of the symptoms appear much lower with this fourth surge than what we saw in previous surges.”
Data shows the percentage of positive patients that were hospitalized has reduced with every surge.
About 7% of positive patients were hospitalized in the first surge, about 5.5% in the second surge, nearly 4% in the third surge, and less than half a percent with this surge.
Carrigan said the county does have additional staffing resources to help and the expansion adds 39 ICU beds and 33 more regular beds as well.
“We have three state staffed strike teams consisting of six nurses and six paramedics from each team assigned to the emergency department in three hospitals to assist with offloading patients from ambulances and patient care in the emergency room.”
Carrigan is hopeful that we might not see another surge for some time: “We continuously look at the state’s modelling and currently it does not predict a fifth surge at this time in the near future.”
The state’s indoor mask mandate is being lifted after February 15 but unvaccinated people will still have to wear a mask indoors.
Also, event capacities are going back to pre-surge guidelines. For indoor events, the limit will be 1,000 people and 10,000 for outdoor events. This goes into effect on February 16.