BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — More people have died from COVID-19 in Kern County in 2021 than 2020, according to pubic health data collected by 17 News.

Although people may remember 2020 as the worst year of the pandemic, most of the damage was in 2021, local data shows.

17 News has tracked the total number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. At least 757 people in Kern County have died from COVID-19 in 2021 compared to 753 lives lost in 2020.

Kern County has gone through two surges in the past 17 months and is in the middle of a third.

Local health officials confirmed the first COVID-19 death on Mar. 29, 2020, just two weeks after confirming the first positive case.

Since then, 1,510 people have lost their lives to the novel virus. The deadliest month was Jan. 2021 when a staggering 370 people lost their lives to coronavirus.

The deaths didn’t happen all at once. It took nearly four months for Kern County to confirm its first 100 deaths but only a little more than three weeks to confirm the next 100 deaths, as cases surged during the summer months in 2020. By late December through mid-January, Kern was losing about 100 people every ten days.

Deaths significantly slowed after the winter surge and as more people received the vaccine. Cases once again increased in July and Aug. 2021 as the more contagious delta variant rapidly spread.

Kern is in the middle of its third surge as cases slowly decline. Hospitalizations and deaths are expected to increase through the end of September.