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Coronavirus cases in Kern surged after Halloween, concerns mount ahead of Thanksgiving


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Coronavirus cases in Kern County are back on the rise in just a matter of weeks. To use the cliché “here we go again” would be appropriate.

Kern County saw some of the lowest levels of transmission in late October. Our daily average of cases over a 7-day period dropped to just 63 cases.

By Halloween, our daily average jumped to 88 cases over a 7-day period. The days after trick-or-treating and parties led to another spike.

A week after Halloween, we saw on average an additional 50 cases a day bringing our total to 138 positive cases every day.

We are far from our previous peak in July but if where we’ve been is where we’re going, there’s a reason our health officials say they’re concerned.

After the Fourth of July holiday, we saw an average of 600 cases a day. Our peak, which is seen as an outlier, was on July 7 when 800 people tested positive for coronavirus.

It didn’t take long to get there. Less than three weeks prior to our summer peak, Kern County saw about 130 cases a day — the same average we have today.

What will Thanksgiving bring? It depends on our community. If people plan to have large gatherings, not wear masks and fail to follow the guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus, our community could be hit hard, especially by Christmas.

Our local health officials use models to project the ebbs and flows in coronavirus spread. Their main concern is hospitalizations, primarily ICU beds. The models suggest our peak could come in February.

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