Major concerns for Kern and Central Valley counties as coronavirus transmission remains high


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Major concerns from the federal government as positivity rates remain high in Kern and Central Valley counties.

“We really want every Californian to know that there’s ongoing active transmission in communities in the Central Valley and that we all need to adhere to these guidelines to prevent additional community spread,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavius task force coordinator in an interview Thursday with 17 News.

Many counties in Southern California and the Bay Area are seeing a decrease in positivity rates. Sixteen counties in the Central Valley have rising rates, according to Birx.

“At one time, it was really coming from the nursing homes but now it’s coming from vulnerable individuals in community settings through this local family spread,” said Birx. “Every single family needs to really, going into Labor Day, ensure they’re not creating super-spreading events.”

This warning comes as a new study from the IHME shows nearly 310,000 American lives could be lost to coronvirus by Dec. 1. That same projection forecasts more than 40,000 Californians could die.

“This particular virus preys on those with preexisting conditions and they have a much more difficult course and the mortality rates for people who are over the age of 30 or 35. So this is not flu,” said Birx. “You cannot predict which of your family members is going to have severe disease so we all have to protect one another.”

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