Data company gives Kern County “D” grade for social distancing


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Unacast Inc., a location data company, has given Kern County a “D” grade on social distancing compliance.

Social distancing guidelines include working from home, visiting loved ones on electronic devices, cancelling or postponing conferences or large meetings, and keeping a distance of at least six feet from others.

Between Feb. 24 and present, Kern County has seen a change of 25 to 40 percent mobility, and a drop in non-essential visits by 55 to 60 percent, according to Unacast’s social distancing national scoreboard.

However, Marin County in Northern California was awarded an A- because residents there have changed their average mobility by 55 to 70 percent, and dropped non-essential visits by 70 percent, according to the scoreboard.

Kern county and city leaders want to make clear they are taking steps to make sure people are adhering to the guidelines. The City of Bakersfield has closed off all playgrounds at city-owned parks, as well as exercise equipment as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Speaking with KGET via ZOOM, Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh said the city is working with the Kern County Public Health Department to see to it that non-essential businesses adhere to the stay-at home order.

“We’re grateful that most residents and businesses in our communities are choosing to comply with the reccomandations and regulations that have come down,” Goh said. “For those businesses that are not following up despite repeated education, our public health department is sending out health inspectors,” she continued.

“They’re taking a letter that I have written urging businesses to comply, the importance of doing that. But I’ve also included in that letter a link to follow up for assistance. We know it’s a hardship, but we’re urging our businesses to comply because it’s important for the safety of our entire community.”

Sheriff Donny Youngblood said the Kern County Sheriff’s Office can only do so much on enforcing the guidelines, but he stressed it is on everybody to stop the spread of the virus.

“This is a critical month for us,” he said. “If you have a business and you are essential, I understand you have to stay open, but really look at your business and decide whether it’s essential or not. You make that decision.”

The scoreboard gave Tulare County a “D-” grade, Los Angeles County a “C” grade, and the nation a “C” grade.

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