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Kern County Public Health: Latest COVID-19 facts as of March 1

Kern County Public Health Services Department

• There are 687 newly reported confirmed cases in Kern County bringing our total confirmed cases to date to 237,530.

• There are 5 new deaths being reported March 1 and a total of 2,122 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

• The 7-day case rate is 21.1 per 100,000.

• As of February 28, 1,234,094 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Kern County residents. 55.3% of Kern’s eligible population and 51.3% of Kern’s total population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

• As of February 28, Kern County had 99 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and 21 are in the ICU.

On Friday, February 25, CDC updated its framework to monitor the level of COVID-19 in communities. CDC stated that with widespread population immunity, the overall risk of severe disease is now generally lower. This new framework moves beyond simply looking at cases and test positivity and now evaluates factors that reflect the severity of disease, including hospitalizations and hospital capacity. This multi-tiered approach determines whether the level of COVID-19 and severe disease in the community are low, medium or high. CDC has classified Kern County as high level. In the high level, CDC recommends the following:

1. Masking indoors in public settings;

2. Getting vaccinated and boosted when eligible;

3. Getting tested when symptomatic; and

4. Talking to your healthcare provider about other precautions if at high risk for severe illness.

On February 28, the State announced changes to the masking mandate for both the general public and in school and childcare settings. Effective March 1, public indoor masking for unvaccinated individuals is no longer required, but is strongly recommended. After March 11, masks will no longer be required, but will be strongly recommended in schools and childcare settings. Masking remains required in healthcare settings, correctional facilities, long-term care facilities, emergency shelters, homeless shelters, and public transportation. Learn more about these updates by visiting CDPH website.

“Our community has been greatly impacted by this disease, and together we have overcome many challenges,” says Brynn Carrigan, Director of Kern County Public Health. “Public Health remains steadfast in our efforts to educate our residents on the latest tools and resources available to protect against COVID-19 and we stand ready to respond to any future variants.”

Kern County Public Health continues to coordinate mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites throughout the county and a map with this information can be found on our website: http://www.kernpublichealth.com/covid-19-vaccination-and-testing/.