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Kern County Public Health addresses possible winter COVID surge

Kern County Board of Supervisors
Posted at 5:04 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 20:04:57-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The holiday season is around the corner, so with people gathering and with the cooler weather coming, there are concerns about a possible winter surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting this morning where public health presented possible projections of cases and hospitalizations, and there is a chance of optimism in that forecast.

It’s been more than two months since the peak of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Kern County. There were about 336 hospitalizations locally on September 13th. Now public health is reporting 207 hospitalizations Tuesday, and that’s down from 227 this time last week.

Based on the case and vaccination rates, the state has three projection models. The best case is a gradual decrease in cases and hospitalizations. Kern Public Health Director Brynn Carrigan said Kern is looking at the projection with a possible surge in cases and hospitalizations in February of next year. But these models could change.

“Modelling suggests for the next month, in fact until the late part of December that we’ll continue to see a decrease in our cases,” said Carrigan. “So we’ll continue to monitor that and see how much our cases do decrease and see how the modeling changes over the next month to see if it continues to predict that we will see that one surge that is projected to peak in February.”

According to Carrigan Kern will see cases peak around February 16th with 615 cases and hospitalizations by February 23rd with 483 hospitalizations. That’s significantly lower than last week’s report when Carrigan said our hospitalizations would peak around February 13th with a little more than 1,000 hospitalizations.

Carrigan said this change is most likely a positive effect of the reduced COVID case rate here in Kern. It was 27.2 last week and has dropped to 21.3 this week.