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Case Counts Improve, Yet State Guidelines 'Penalize' Kern County - COVID-19 Update For Sept. 18

County of Kern Facebook page
Kern County Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop speaks during a media call on September 17, 2020.


Over the last few weeks, the local COVID-19 landscape has changed dramatically. In the San Joaquin Valley, average daily cases have dropped to a fraction of what they were in late July and early August, and hospitals are regaining the beds necessary for their normal, non-COVID volume of patients. Dozens of people are still dying of the virus each week, however, and health officials are on high alert for bumps in cases associated with Labor Day festivities.

Statewide, Governor Gavin Newsom in late August unveiled his new Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a tiered system that aimed to streamline how counties reopen schools and businesses. But the system uses each county’s testing rate to improve or worsen its metrics for reopening, which Kern County in particular has called out as unfair.


To put all of this into context, this week’s COVID-19 update features an excerpt from an interview with Dr. Kenny Banh, an emergency physician at UCSF Fresno Medical School, as well as a statement from Kern County Administrator Ryan Alsop.


Here’s a snapshot for Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties (note that some numbers may have changed between the interview and publication): 


As of Sept. 17: 

For comparison, as of Sept. 10: 

  • 1,142 deaths out of 91,340 cases
  • 365 people hospitalized and 79 in ICUs
  • In the last week, 38 people succumbed to the disease
  • Average cases reported daily in the last week: 423

You can always find up-to-date information for your county here.

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