NewsCovering Kern County


Health officials: Coronavirus outbreak should not get in the way of people's everyday life

Posted at 6:50 AM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 09:50:01-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — As the coronavirus continues to spread, several conferences, concerts, and sporting events around the world have been canceled over safety concerns. With confirmed cases in both northern and southern California, and multiple people being tested in Kern County, many people are asking if it's safe to go to public events.

At this point, four locals have been tested for the virus. So far, one test came back negative, we don't have results for the other three yet. When 23ABC asked Kern Public Health if people should hesitate to go to events with mass amounts of people, they had a simple response.

"No. And we're getting a lot of questions in our call center about going out at public gatherings. There has been no guidance given that we should restrict any of those activities," said Michelle Corson, spokesperson for Kern Public Health.

That guidance coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reminding the public that, at this time, Kern County is still at low risk of contracting the virus because there is no known circulation in the community.

"So we will modify our recommendations based on CDC protocols if that were to change, but as of now you need to go about your lives as you normally would," Corson said.

And that message is mirrored by some of Bakersfield's largest event venues. 23ABC receiving a statement from ASM Global, which manages Mechanics Bank Arena, Valley Children's Ice Center, and Spectrum Amphitheater. The statement saying:

"At ASM Global we are closely monitoring the latest developments regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) globally and any potential impact it may have on our day-to-day operations here in Bakersfield. The health and safety of our guests and employees is our top priority. Through public health organizations, such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), we are staying abreast of the latest updates and developments as they occur. Any actions we take will be consistent with guidelines from these agencies and local health department officials."

At this point, officials say the only thing locals should avoid is traveling to countries where the virus is widespread. This includes China, Iran, South Korea and Italy.

"If you don't have to go for a very important reason to you, what that means for you is going to be individual, you should not go," Corson said.

ASM Global says, as of now, all local events are happening as scheduled. Kern public health will be providing an update on the virus sometime before 10 on Friday morning.