Public health will not impose mask mandate in Kern County

Will not follow Los Angeles County's decision.
California face masks
Posted at 11:20 AM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 16:59:14-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Despite a recent spike in COVID cases locally and across the country, Kern County will not impose a mask mandate, unlike neighboring Los Angeles County.

During Tuesday morning's Board of Supervisors meeting, Public Health Director Brynn Carrigan gave a breakdown of the number of COVID-19 cases and how many vaccinated people have gotten sick.

In Kern County, nearly 17,200 people have gotten COVID-19 since the end of January. Of those, Carrigan says 104 or .6 percent were fully vaccinated. In that same time frame, of the nearly 1,400 hospitalizations in Kern County, only 11 or .8-percent were fully vaccinated.

"Because 99.4 percent of our confirmed COVID-19 cases are in those who are unvaccinated, we recommend that our residents follow the state's existing masking guidance. This guidance requires those who are unvaccinated to mask when indoors. If our unvaccinated residents take personal responsibility to mask when indoors COVID-19 transmissions should be minimized," said Carrigan.

However, Carrigan did mention that they have seen an increase in the number of COVID cases among children.

"We are starting to see an increase in transmission rates amongst our children. And in fact, we have 13,804 children here in kern county who have had COVID-19. We started to see that uptick later on in the pandemic. And I believe it had a lot to do with our stay-at-home order. Our children were staying at home, but their parents were out and about being essential workers. But now that all the restrictions have opened up and our kids are out and about in the community there is more likely to be exposure to people with covid-19 who are asymptomatic and they get infections. "

Los Angeles County is now requiring residents to wear a mask while indoors following a recent spike in COVID cases.