BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern’s first case of coronavirus was confirmed 334 days ago. COVID-19 has since devastated the community, but there’s hope the worst days of the pandemic could soon wrap up.
On Wednesday, 449 cases were reported today, bringing Kern’s average to 412 people testing positive every day. This average is significantly down from the peak, which was the week after New Year’s. That’s when Kern saw an average of 1,128 people getting sick every day.
The same trend is happening in local hospitals: the numbers are down, although still high. State data says 274 people are in the hospital with coronavirus, and 51 more are fighting for their lives in the intensive care unit. Those numbers were nearly double about a month ago, and haven’t been this low since mid-December. Though this is good news, and the numbers are going down, it does not mean our numbers are low. The region still has a ways to go before restrictions lift.
Here’s a look at the state’s metrics for tiers:
Kern county is in the purple tier, and will need to lower these three purple bars that you seen on your screen. Once Kern qualifies for the red tier, there will be fewer restrictions. Meantime, data continues to show how severe coronavirus was for hundreds in our community.
Data released today adds four more deaths to Kern’s total. Three of those were people who died before Christmas. Covid-19 has killed 664 people in the county. December was the deadliest month with 168 lives lost. In other words, one in four people who died from coronavirus died in December.
Our deadliest days were in the middle of the holidays. Those numbers may be higher as health officials continue counting the bodies.
Data also shows that the virus disproportionately affects certain groups of people, specifically those 65 and older. Data from Kern County’s public health department shows one in every 20 people 65 and older who contract coronavirus in Kern County has died. Health officials say this is why it is extremely critical for those 65 and older to get vaccinated.
More than 70,000 doses have been administered in Kern County, with 2,600 of those being administered Tuesday. Vaccine recipients need two doses of the vaccine to become immune.
Many people 65 and older who received their first vaccine earlier this year are now eligible to receive their second.
For more on local response and resources to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the Kern County Public Health Services Department website.