Kern prepares to reopen, drop most pandemic restrictions


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — California is less than a week away from reopening its economy, as the state is doing away with its color-coded system of coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday. Businesses and local governments can still choose to implement tougher rules, but health officials say public life will largely return to normal.

“Everyday life will feel a lot like it did before COVID-19,” said Brynn Carrigan, Director of the Kern County Public Health Dept. “With most places being open with no capacity limitations or social distancing requirements.”

Large indoor events will have to follow new rules if more than 5,000 people will be there

“Needing to mask if you have not been vaccinated in these mega-events. And also having to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter some of these indoor mega-events,” said Michelle Corson, Public Information Officer for the Kern County Public Health Dept. “But it’s also recommended that you have to show that proof for outdoor mega-events.”

The state says it plans to update its mask mandate to follow CDC guidelines, which require everyone to wear masks in places like hospitals and public transit. The state says fully-vaccinated people can ditch their masks in other public settings. Officials say Cal/OSHA has not released its new mask guidance yet, so rules for private businesses and workplaces remain up in the air.

Cal/OSHA will now step up and really be that body that will govern much of how our business operate moving forward,” said Corson.

County officials say restrictions for large indoor events will last until at least Oct. 1, as health experts keep track of case rates and vaccines.

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