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Kern County will move into less restrictive red tier Wednesday,

Coronavirus
Posted at 8:27 AM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 15:47:35-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Kern County Public Health Director Brynn Carrigan announced the county will officially move into the red tier Wednesday, after meeting the necessary metrics for two weeks straight.

Carrigan said as of Tuesday the adjusted case rate in Kern is 5.5 per 100,000 people. Our testing positivity rate is 2.8% and our health equity quartile rate is 3.9%. Both those numbers meet the metrics of the orange tier.

If Kern County maintains these numbers, Kern could move into the orange tier as early as April 7.

Eight months later, California is slowly making its way to reopening. In Kern County, we've moved in and out of the tier monitoring system initiated by Governor Gavin Newsom, as part of his Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

While the restrictions, guidelines, lockdowns and requirements within the system have changed several times, Kern County has continuously pushed forward through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tier system was enacted last August and Kern was placed in the purple tier, the most restrictive tier. Kern moved into the less restrictive red tier back in October, but cases surged over the holidays leading the governor to enforce a new stay-at-home order.

Once the new order was lifted in January, Kern moved back into the purple tier, along with 54 other counties.

Now Kern is set to move into the red tier again, meaning indoor operations in restaurants and movie theaters can resume at 25% capacity. Gyms could reopen at 10%. Junior High and High Schools could resume in-class learning.

In order to move into the red tier, Kern had to meet red tier metrics for two straight weeks. Testing positivity and our health equity quartile needed to be below 8%. Our case rate and adjusted case rate needed to be below 10. As of last week, Kern County Public Health reported Kern met the metrics with a testing positivity rate of 3.7%, a health equity quartile at 4.9%, and an adjusted case rate of 7.8.