Public health officials announced 309 new cases of the coronavirus today in Kern County, matching the surge of infections the area saw in July. Kern County is rolling back into the purple tier, the most restrictive set of COVID-19 guidelines in the state’s coronavirus plan. That means most non-essential businesses like gyms and places of worship were forced to stop operating indoors on Tuesday. Over 90% of Californians face the same restrictions, but that’s not the only change.
Counties will move into more restrictive tiers after one week of failing to meet the requirements of less restrictive tiers. Previously it took two weeks. Officials say most local infections come from small private gatherings, and also warned residents not to travel during Thanksgiving to slow the spread of the disease. The county’s chief administrator showed quarantine fatigue during an emotional conference this morning.
“We are all tired,” said Ryan Alsop, Kern County Chief Administrator. “We’re all over dealing with the hell of a mess that we’re in.”
Governor Gavin Newsom is also freezing reopening across California, leading local leaders to believe that counties will remain in the purple tier even as their numbers begin to meet red tier requirements.
This comes as companies promise viable coronavirus vaccines in the near future. County officials say it will take 80% of the population being immunized against COVID-19 to give the area fighting chance of eradicating the disease. Until then, masks and social distancing are the best ways to keep yourself and others safe.