Kern County meets Orange Tier metrics as California unveils economic reopening plan


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — It’s something Californians have been waiting for for more than a year now: a full reopening of our economy. Governor Newsom outlined a new plan that would get rid of the tier system, in about two months’ time and gave an update on the continued vaccine rollout.

On June 15, California will fully open its economy if two criteria are met:

“The masking is going to continue, they are going to continue to encourage vaccination, testing remains a vitally important tool for us as we continue to navigate through this pandemic,” said Michelle Corson, with Kern County Public Health.

As of yesterday, California had administered more than 20 million COVID-19 vaccines. Kern has administered 321,055 vaccines.

“We’re feeling really good about the way that our community is responding to the COVID-19 vaccinations that are being offered, currently we have estimated 12.7% of all county residents have become fully vaccinated, we feel like that’s fantastic considering we’ve just opened many more categories even last week, 50 and older, now anybody can so we feel like this is significant we feel like this is something that should continue to even progress,” Corson said.

Meantime, this week Kern has met the Orange tier metrics for the first time. In order to move down into the Orange Tier, we must meet the metrics for a second week in a row, which means if numbers continue in this downward trend, we could be moving into the orange tier as early as next week. It’s important to note Kern County is not in the orange tier yet. The state’s full reopening of the economy will not take place until June 15- at which point the county plans to follow the state’s guidelines as they have throughout this process, but this is a step towards progress.

“This is absolutely a light at the end of the tunnel, I mean here at public health we feel it so we hope our community can feel it right?!” said Corson. “This is not a time to forget everything we have been through together, right? So wearing those face covering when you are in public, avoiding large gatherings and if you are gathering do so carefully, if outdoors that’s the safest to do. And you know the exciting news is you can gather indoors with your masks off if you’ve all been vaccinated, so I think that’s just another thing that encourages folks to get the vaccine, when you can and when you feel comfortable.”

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