BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — COVID case numbers remain low in Kern less than a week after the county moved from the "High" to "Medium" risk designation in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 Community Level classifications.
The new system takes into account new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population over 7 days, as well as the Percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients over the same period.
On Tuesday, Kern County Public Health reported 188 new infections, raising the total number of cases to 241,421. Public Health also reported eight more people lost their lives to the virus bringing the total number of COVID-related deaths to 2,196.
Brynn Carrigan, the director of Kern County Public Health confirmed to the board of supervisors during her report that Kern County may have seen the worst of COVID-19 and that all signs are pointing to a continued decline in cases and that surges of the coronavirus may be over.
"At my last report to your board, CDC had classified Kern County as high level. On March 10th, the COVID community level was reduced to medium. The state's modeling software suggests that current cases and hospitalizations will continually slowly decrease for the foreseeable future with no currently predicted future surges."
Carrigan said a lot of the decline is attributed to the growing immunity to COVID-19 in Kern County and across the nation. She said immunity is being achieved by people getting and surviving the virus and through vaccination.
At the last board meeting, supervisors asked which is better health-wise against the virus and Tuesday the county's lead epidemiologist provided an answer, saying it's both surviving the infection and getting vaccinated.
"But what we find in the studies that, you know Miss Carrigan presented, is that people who have had a previous infection are further protected by getting vaccinated," explained Kern County Public Health lead epidemiologist Kim Hernandez. "And so this is why we continue to encourage that people and that everybody who is aged and medically eligible be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to be boosted when it is time for that boost."
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In summary, just getting infected boosts immunity. Just getting vaccinated boosts it as well. But surviving COVID and then getting vaccinated and boosted is the best bet to being protected against future infection or re-infection.
Public Health also said the more severe the infection that you survive against the longer it boosts your immunity.