BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Around the state, public health officials have seen an uptick in cases of the COVID-19 variant with outbreaks in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Locally, doctors at Dignity Health said while there haven't been any confirmed cases in Kern yet, it's likely there are cases in our community.
"It's pretty close and we know people travel to L.A. quite frequently and come back. It is extremely close and it's extremely virulent," said Terri Church, Bakersfield Memorial Chief Nursing Officer.
Hospitals in Kern are working to get all of their staff vaccinated. Bakersfield Memorial said all those who wanted a vaccination have received one.
Mercy Hospital reports nearly one thousand vaccinations among its staff.
"There are numbers out there, 50 to 70 percent more virulent than what we've seen in the transmission," Church said. "Something like we haven't seen before. The good thing is the vaccine does protect. It's just now we've gotta get people vaccinated."