By Trina Thomas
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Kern County — including in the KRV — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday moved the county back into the purple tier.
Kern was one of 28 counties Newsom relegated to the most restrictive tier.
The week after Halloween, the cases more than doubled in Kern County, jumping from 63 the previous week to 138. As of Monday, the Kern County Public Health Services Department reported 301 new COVID-19 cases.
After going three weeks with no positive test results at its weekly drive-thru testing facility, Kern Valley Hospital on Monday reported two new confirmed cases the week of Nov. 11 and another two the week before.
Concerns are that the rate of new cases will exceed the spread that Kern County saw in the pandemic’s first initial wave.
In July, a seven-day average hit 600 new cases a day, when only three weeks prior, Kern County only saw 130 cases a day.
Under the purple tier, sectors such as hotels, critical infrastructure, limited services, outdoor playgrounds and outdoor recreational facilities will stay open with modifications. Hair salons and barbershops, retail and shopping centers will remain open indoors, with retail and shopping centers restricted to 25% capacity and food courts closed.
Personal-care services will be open indoors with modifications. Museums, zoos, aquariums, places of worship, movie theaters, gyms and fitness centers, restaurants, family entertainment centers, cardrooms, satellite wagering and wineries will all be outdoor-only with modifications. Bars, breweries, distilleries where no meals are provided, live audience sports and amusement parks will be closed. Offices will be closed and workers will have to work remotely.
Schools that reopened for in-person instruction before the move back to the purple tier can stay open, but no new schools may open until the county has been moved back to the red tier for two weeks.
Kern County has had 36,919 total resident cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with 17,803 recovered residents and 432 deaths.