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Kern County likely to move back into purple tier as COVID-19 cases spike ahead of holiday season

Coronavirus

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Coronavirus cases in Kern County continue to rise dramatically as the county prepares for a likely move back into the state’s purple, most restrictive tier of guidelines.

Kern’s daily average of cases over a 7-day period dropped to just 63 cases in late October. In the week following Halloween, that average jumped to 138 cases. Today, the Kern County Public Health Services Department reported 243 new COVID-19 cases.

Local health experts are concerned the rate of new cases will match or exceed the scale of spread that was seen in the first wave of new cases. In July, Kern learned how quickly a spike in cases can take place. Kern County’s peak happened when the 7-day average reached 600 cases a day in July. Only three weeks prior to that peak, Kern County saw about 130 cases a day.

As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, health experts worry the pandemic will only get worse in Kern County. The models used by Kern Public Health suggest our peak could come in February, however, those models are subject to change depending on several factors: masks, social distancing, testing, etc.

Kern County’s rise in new cases mirrors what is being seen across the rest of the state and the country. California was one of three states Friday to issue travel advisories urging residents to stay home unless it’s essential, and to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country. These precautionary measures will be key in deciding the path of the pandemic in Kern County, depending on how well the community responds to them.

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