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Kern County could move to next tier, how industries are preparing

Posted at 7:06 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 22:06:12-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif.  — Kern County could potentially move into the red tier starting Tuesday, which could have more industries opening back up.

This is how some industries like restaurants and churches are prepping for if Kern County moves to the next tier.

Kern County is still in the purple tier, but Tuesday the public health department is expected to announce whether we've met the metrics that allow certain industries to open indoors.

Many of those industries are already anticipating the possible announcement.

"The past couple of months, you know it's been rough, due to COVID, luckily our community is pretty great, they come out and support us," said Erik Allen, manager at Hungry Hunter.

Hungry Hunter steakhouse has been relying on take out orders and outdoor dining for the past couple weeks due to the pandemic, but Tuesday, that could change.

Kern County is currently in the purple tier of the four-tier system, Tuesday the public health department is expected to announce if the state has given Kern County the approval to move into the red tier.

Meaning restaurants, like Hungry Hunter, could open up their indoor dining areas at 25% capacity.

"Right now we are hoping to open tomorrow depending on the state, it kind of puts us in a tough position because we have to order product and get ready to open in case we can," said Allen.

This includes getting staff ready as well as ordering proper cleaning supplies, masks, and gloves to make sure they are ready to operate in a safe way.

Other industries that could open indoors if we move into the next tier include gyms, tattoo shops, movie theaters, and churches.

"A lot of people have been wanting to have the church re-open and be able to have a chance to stop in and see familiar faces and see the staff and the clergy as well," said Deacon David Rodriguez, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church.

David Rodriguez, a deacon at St. Elizabeth's Church says they've been able to have outdoor services, but it has been difficult.

"We've been doing them outside in our patio area, sometimes due to the fact there is no shade, it's been rather hot and sunny, and then we move them too late and we're operating darkness," said Deacon Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says if churches are given the approval to have services inside, St. Elizabeth will only allow 100 people at each mass service; parishioners are encouraged to call to reserve seats.

The church will also be enforcing social distancing and will require those who attend to wear masks.

Now for Kern County to move to the red tier the county must be below seven new cases per 100,000 people, have a less than 8% positive test rate as well as health equity metric.

And while some industries are eager to open indoors others are hoping we keep moving forward.

"Just excited to see the people again," said Allen.

"We're excited to just be opening up, hopefully, we will be able to sustain and we won't have to close back down again," said Deacon Rodriguez.