Bakersfield, California 2021-05-11 15:15:00 –
COVID-19 began returning to Kern County and stopped its decline for weeks.
In the latest weekly update, the Kern County Public Health Department reported the first increase in cases of coronavirus since the end of the winter surge. At the same time, vaccination coverage is declining, making it more difficult for authorities to control the virus.
Brin Kaligan said public health is closely watching the number, especially the increase in COVID-19 mutants found in the county.
“We see a slight increase, so it’s important to be prepared for a third surge here in Kern County,” Kaligan told the Kern County Supervisory Board at a meeting on Tuesday.
In the latest update, the county-wide percentage of new daily cases of coronavirus increased from 2.8 per 100,000 last week to 3.4 per 100,000.
The county test positive rate was 1.7% on weekly updates, up from 1.3% in the previous week.
Test positive rates in the county’s poorest census district (called the health inequal quartile) rose from 1.8% last week to 1.9%.
Hospitalization also increased from the minimum of 17 patients on May 1st, with 4 admitted to the intensive care unit on May 2nd. As of Monday, there were 28 hospitalizations in Kern County and 9 were hospitalized in the ICU.
“This is far from the number of COVID hospitalizations seen during the January 11 surge, with 453 patients admitted and 110 patients admitted to the ICU. We are watching carefully, “said Calligan.
In addition, six new cases of the B117 mutant, called the UK strain, were identified in Kern County.
As the number of cases increases, vaccination is moving in the opposite direction. Although 34.2% of the county’s population over the age of 16 is fully vaccinated, the number of new doses given weekly is continually declining.
During the week of April 5, 50,435 high doses were administered. This number was cut in half last week, with 21,086 doses.
If people are vaccinated at the rate that the county is taking over the next four weeks, it will take 49 weeks to reach the entire eligible population.
This week, Kern County stayed in the orange layer of blueprints for a safer economy. The orange layer, which is the second least restricted of the four color-coded layers, can perform many activities banned during quarantine, as long as protective measures are in place.
The county must meet the lower tier requirements for two weeks before qualifying. The earliest possible time for Kern County to be eligible for Yellow Tier is currently May 26th.
Governor Gavin Newsom has shown that the blueprint will be abolished on June 15 as long as the vaccine is available and hospitalization is stable.
You can reach Sammorgen at 661-395-7415. You can also follow him on Twitter @ smorgenTBC.
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