UPDATE: County of Kern announces local state of emergency due to coronavirus


UPDATE: County of Kern Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop announced on Monday that the county is declaring a local state of emergency due to the coronavirus.

Alsop also authorized the activation of the county’s Emergency Operations Center to ensure needs of our community, continuity of communication across our county.

Starting tonight at 5 p.m., Alsop said all county departments will be operating under essential staffing only. Employees deemed as non-essential have been requested to work from home.

County facilities will be closed to the public starting tomorrow through April 14, with a few exceptions for essential services, Alsop said.

Essential services include public safety, airports, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, the District Attorney’s Office and the Recorder/Assessor’s Office.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – County officials will ask the Board of Supervisors to declare a state of emergency in Kern County, KGET has learned.

A news conference was scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday. It will be carried live on kget.com.

County Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop will ask the Board to declare the state of emergency, which will affect how the county conducts business and interacts with the public. 

The supervisors are expected to vote on the recommendation Tuesday.

The state of emergency would likely require the closure of some county offices and communication with the public via email, telephone or similar tools.

The declaration would not involve mandated restrictions on the public, such as business closures or neighborhood curfews.

Monday’s development comes amid increasing concerns about the the spread of COVID-19, and the governor’s call for home isolation for seniors, the closure of bars and wineries, and capacity limitations for restaurants.

The Trump administration on Monday urged residents to cancel gatherings of more than 10 people. That applies not just to events and businesses, but also in homes.

No confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county, but 335 cases and six deaths have occurred statewide.

County officials say they don’t know how many people are currently being tested for the virus locally because private labs and physicians are carrying out those tests. Positive tests must be immediately reported to the county health department, however.

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