Kern sees 17 new COVID deaths, most in a singular day


Friday, Kern County hit a record number of COVID deaths reported in a singular day, 17.

“I don’t know if this is a new strain of COVID or what’s going on, but something is definitely changed,” said Dr. Hemmal Kothary, Dignity Health’s Chief Medical Officer. “Our ICUs are still very impacted, and these patients that are in our ICUs seem to be a lot sicker than they were before.”

Now, Kern County has surpassed 200 total deaths. About half, or 100 of them, are from July alone. The mystery is why the sudden spike in deaths?

“That’s the question we still don’t have answers to,” Dr. Kothary said.

However, doctors do know the next dangerous threshold is Labor Day, the make-it-or-break-it moment before a second surge is expected in October.

“I think if we can avoid large gatherings during Labor Day and practice things we’ve been talking about, I think we will flatten,” Dr. Kothary said. “If we don’t, then I don’t think we’ll see a flattening and will see an increase in our current surge right before late fall when we’ll see our second surge.”

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