KERN COUNTY, Calif. — With COVID-19 cases on the rise around the state, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a new travel advisory asking residents to limit travel outside and into the state.
The announcement comes as California passed its one millionth COVID case Thursday. The advisory asks that Californians refrain from non-essential travel.
“They are advising us to stay home. As difficult as that is, to stay home and not travel, even within our own state,” said Michelle Corson, public relations officer, Kern County Public Health.
The state’s new travel advisory, announced Friday, asks for anyone coming in or out of the state of California to quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
Californians are also encouraged to stay home or in their region, and to avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries.
"This is an advisory. They are suggesting this to protect our health and slow the spread of COVID-19," said Corson.
The advisory comes as Kern County continues to see an uptick in COVID cases. Public health data shows in October that there was an average of about 72 local cases per day, in November, that number has increased to about 113 so far. Public Health has expressed concern that the uptick may be exacerbated by Thanksgiving gatherings, but the state’s COVID-19 projections still forecast that the worst is to come around February. That’s why Corson says it’s important to be vigilant.
“Especially those that are elderly, and vulnerable, and at risk for severe disease, to really adhere to these proposed advisories and guidelines.”
The new travel advisory also comes as Kern County faces the potential of regressing back into the state’s more restrictive purple tier next Friday. Corson says the regression is a result of our cases rising, and we’re still not being helped by the so-called penalty that the state is implementing on counties whose COVID testing rates are below the state’s average testing rates. Corson says Kern has raised its testing rates, but still, meeting the state average is a tall order.
Corson added, "All these counties are working very hard to do the same thing that Kern County is doing, therefore the state average continues to rise, and we are chasing that.”
This comes as the U.S. continues to see a surge in COVID cases. The states of Oregon and Washington are joining California in implementing the advisory.