Kern County remains red for now

By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

The state announced Tuesday that Kern County has continued to meet “Red Tier” COVID-19 metrics for its third consecutive week, red being the second most-restrictive of four tiers in California’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.”

The countywide testing positivity rate dropped to 4.2 percent with the adjusted case rate (adjusted for number of tests performed) rising slightly from 6.2 to 6.3 per 100,000. But our “health equity quartile testing positivity” – a metric which aims to ensure disadvantaged neighborhoods don’t lag behind the overall rates – has risen from 5.5 to 6.3 percent.

“Kern County’s testing positivity rate actually meets the Orange Tier, or Tier 3, metrics; however, our countywide adjusted case rate and health equity quartile testing positivity rate still fall within the Red Tier metrics,” said a Kern County Public Health release. “If these two metrics were to improve and actually meet the Orange Tier metrics, the county would be eligible to move forward in the framework to the less restrictive tier after two consecutive weeks of meeting these metrics.”

But as always, any one of these metrics is also capable of placing Kern back into the most-restrictive Purple Tier.

“Kern County’s testing rate has decreased from 194/100,000 residents to 181/100,000 this week,” said the release. “As a community, we need to increase our testing to not only avoid that artificial case rate adjustment, but also because testing is a very important recourse to slow the transmission of this disease in our community by identifying infected individuals who can be isolated.”

Information on testing areas can be found at kernpublichealth.com.

“The best ways for residents to protect themselves and loved ones is to continue to wear face coverings, avoid social gatherings, keep six feet of distance from others and frequently wash hands.”

For more on the state framework, visit covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy or kernpublichealth.com/2019-novel-coronavirus.

Story First Published: 2020-10-30