BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — It’s been 340 days since Kern’s first confirmed case of coronavirus – now the county is at more than 100,000 cases. It took just 11 months for 1 in 9 people who live in Kern County to get sick.
Kern County’s average is now below 400 people getting sick every day. The county hasn’t been that low since before Thanksgiving, with the peak being the week after New Year’s. Kern saw an average of 1,200 people getting infected.
The downward trend is also happening in Kern’s hospitals. Today’s state data shows 237 people are in a Kern County hospital with coronavirus. 53 more are fighting for their lives in the ICU. These numbers continue to slowly decline.
Although encouraging signs, the spread of coronavirus is still considered high in the community. Kern County still has ways to go before it sees any restrictions lift.
Kern County is still in the purple tier. The three purple bars in this graph need be lowered before the county can move on to the next tier. Once Kern County is in the red tier, there will be less restrictions.
In the meantime, Kern County is still learning of how deadly it was.
Another 23 lives were lost in the past week because of coronavirus. 14 of those deaths were in December. It’s another example of how long it takes for Kern’s health department to confirm a death. The deadliest week was the week before Christmas. The true number of COVID-related deaths is most likely significantly higher because of the lag in reporting.
This virus is deadly and that’s why doctors say vaccinations are important. Data from the Centers for Disease Control shows nearly half of people who live in Kern County have a pre-existing condition. That makes Kern one of the most vulnerable counties in California.
A group disproportionately affected is those 65 and older. Local death data shows the virus preys on those who are elderly. Data from the Kern County Public Health Department shows one in every 20 people 65 and older who contract coronavirus in Kern County has died.
That is why it is extremely critical for those 65 and older to get vaccinated. Nearly 90,000 doses have been administered in Kern County so far. 58% of those doses have been administered to those 65 and older.
Latinos are another group that has been disproportionately affected by coronavirus. While 53% of Kern’s population is Latino, data from the KCPH department shows Latinos comprise of 60% of COVID deaths. While a majority of people who live in Kern are Latino, they only represent less than a quarter of the number of people who have been vaccinated.
Over the past two weeks, an average of 2,900 people received a vaccine every day. People need two doses to receive immunity. At the current pace, it won’t be until Halloween next year for everyone to be fully vaccinated.