Supervisors asked to end COVID-19 health emergency
The Kern County Public Health department was expected to ask the Board of Supervisors to end the COVID-19 health emergency at its meeting Tuesday. The meeting was planned for after the deadline for this issue. See next week’s paper or visit TehachapiNews.com for the latest information.
The county declared the emergency nearly three years ago, according to a public health spokesperson.
The state of California was set to end the emergency on Monday. And the Biden Administration announced it will end the public health emergency (and national emergency) declarations on May 11.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that the COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review, which tracks the transmission level by county, will publish every other week beginning March 1.
Kern County maintained a low ranking for COVID-19 transmission last week, along with most of the state and nearly 80 percent of counties in the United States.
The CDC uses transmission rankings to measure COVID-19 community levels by county. On a map, counties colored green are identified as having low transmission rates; yellow indicates medium transmission rates and counties colored orange have high transmission rates.
Indicators for community levels are related to new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population and the percentage of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, both on a seven-day average. If it’s less than 10 percent, the transmission rate is considered low. But as metrics rise, the level is adjusted, first to medium and then to high.
Across the country, the CDC reported that more than 77.58 percent of counties had a low transmission rate with 20.34 percent at medium and 2.08 percent at high.
Although tracking will be reported less often, the CDC said it remains dedicated to preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19, with particular concern for people who are at higher risk. COVID-19 remains a critical public health issue. In January it was still the sixth leading cause of death in the country.
The latest data from Kern County Public Health on Feb. 24 showed two COVID-19 deaths countywide since Feb. 17 and a total of 2,619 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
The department does not release death data by community, citing privacy concerns.
The department reported 5 new cases in the 93561 ZIP code since Feb. 17. The total number of cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 is 10,552.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported no active cases among the incarcerated population at the California Correctional Institution on Feb. 24. It reported five active cases among CCI staff as of Feb. 22. CDCR planned to provide an additional update on staff cases on Feb. 28 but said it would be the last update because of deactivation of the emergency.
The local public health department reminds people to continue the following to
help prevent respiratory illness, including COVID-19:
■■ Wash hands often
■■ Avoid being around people who are sick
■■ Cover coughs and sneezes
■■ Avoid touching eyes,
nose, and mouth
■■ Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
■■ Stay home when you are sick
■■ Get your COVID-19 and flu vaccine