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Kern County back on governor's watch list after increase of COVID-19 cases

Posted at 4:40 PM, Jul 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-19 03:25:07-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Public health officials confirm that Kern County is back on Governor Gavin Newsom's watch list Saturday.

This comes after 495 additional COVID-19 cases were reported in the county Saturday, which is the largest one day increase in the county so far.

The influx was expected by officials, as mentioned by Director of Public Health Matt Constantine, at Thursday's press conference.

Greater testing capacity along with higher demands for testing are a few factors that contribute to the increase, Constantine said Thursday.

If the county remains on the state's watch list for three consecutive days, then the county will move onto the state's monitoring list, which would result in several sectors being required to halt indoor operations, according to state guidance.

Gyms, fitness centers, personal care services, hair and nail salons, places of worship and non-critical sectors "will be required to shut down ... unless they can be modified to operate outside or by pick-up," according to the guidance.

According to public health spokeswoman Michelle Corson, the first three days on the watch list will fall under the state's grace period, which means that "Kern needs to exceed the state’s monitoring metrics for 6 consecutive days for those modifications to apply here."

Saturday marks the first day the county is back on the watch list.