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Kern struggles to meet metrics, remains on watch list

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As of Thursday, Kern County has been on the state’s monitoring list for exactly 30 days.

San Diego County, one of the state’s most populous counties, was taken off the list earlier this week after being on the list for more than one month.

Could Kern be next? Public Health Director Matt Constantine answered that very question Thursday.

In essence, as it stands right now, that answer is no, per Constantine, as Kern County is not meeting state metrics.

“The metrics are something we watch very closely,” he stated.

Specifically, Kern’s Covid positivity rate for those tested over a seven day period with a seven day lag is over 20 percent. The state is asking for that figure to be at eight percent or below.

The case rate per 100,000 people stands at 307. The state wants that number below 100.

Furthermore, the county must have more than 20 percent of its ICU bed capacity available. Constantine said that figure has fluctuated throughout the golden empire.

“I’m not optimistic. Most hospitals in the metropolitan Bakersfield area are at or exceed their ICU bed capacity. We have beds available, but those icu beds are really in short supply.”

However, Constantine remained hopeful fewer cases are being reported each day and testing demand has decreased.

“We have some work to do but I think we’re moving in the right direction,” Constantine concluded.

Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated his administration is looking into the possibility to allow certain counties or regions to resume some activities that were restricted, but Constantine noted he has yet to hear from the state regarding that plan.

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