Kern County could begin to see more business reopenings as the county reports low Coronavirus numbers and prepares to move into a less restrictive tier.
During the county Board of Supervisors meeting on Oct. 6, Kern County Assistant Public Health Director Brynn Carrigan reported to the Board that the county has met the metrics across the three categories to prepare to transition from the purple tier to the lower red tier.
As of Oct. 5, the county is reporting an adjusted case rate of 5.5, a testing positivity rate of 4.7% and a lowest quartile aggregate testing positivity rate of 6.2%, according to Carrigan’s report.
“Should we meet those metrics next week and officially move into tier two on Tuesday of next week, then those industry sectors will be allowed to reopen immediately,” Carrigan said.
For counties to move into the red tier, they must achieve over two consecutive weeks case rates below seven new cases per 100,000; a testing positivity rate below 8% and its metric for social inequity, which measures the bottom 25% of the census tract, must also fall below 8%
Shifting into the lower tier allows for limited restrictions for indoor dining for restaurants, places of worship, movie theaters, gyms and fitness centers.
Under the lower tier, restaurants will be able to offer indoor dining up to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. This in addition to outdoor dining already in place.
Places of worship will also be allowed to revert to indoor services but will follow the same capacity restrictions as restaurants.
While the county is in the lower tier, if the metrics were to rise and the county fails the red tier’s standards, then Kern would have to revert back to the higher purple tier and put in place the more restrictive requirements, Carrigan said.
“It will be devastating to the operation of these businesses if they are told to turn on their operation and then turn off their operation,” Board Supervisor District 3 Mike Maggard said. “That uncertainty is devastating to not only the hope and aspirations of those trying to make it work but the economic realities of it.”
If the county meets the standards to transition to the lower red tier on Tuesday, there could be a press conference to provide information. Additional details can be found online at www.kernpublichealth.com