BAKERSFIELD - Kern County saw a new large spike in daily coronavirus cases Thursday morning after Public Health Services announced 1,135 new cases.
The daily update comes nearly a week after Kern County leaders said residents can expect large daily spikes as a result of a backlog in screening results and an increase in the number of people being tested.
For those in East Kern, results range from very low to the hundreds, according to Kern County Public Health Services. Since testing began in March:
— California City, 93505, recorded five new cases at 37 (up from 33), with 20 people recovered.
— Mojave zip code area 93501, 26 people tested positive, 17 recovered
— Rosamond zip code area 93560, 96 people tested positive (up by 3 from Wednesday, 51 have since recovered.
— Boron zip code 93516, 4 positive cases, 2 since recovered.
— Edwards zip code 93523, 3 positive cases, 1 since recovered
— Tehachapi area zip code 9356, 247 (up by 44 cases) tested positive, 36 since recovered.
Kern County Public Health Services Director Matt Constantine said Thursday that there are a few factors in the rise of the numbers.
"We had a number of issues come forward. We had observed a significant increase in testing beginning in July," Constantine said, adding it hit as much as four times in certain areas.
In addition, contract labs Quest and Westpac reported shortages in testing supplies and lab reagents. As a result their turn around time was extended and test results not being received for seven days or more.
As a result, Public Health has been bombarded with a high volume of lab result that its staff need to go through and record. Public Health called in more of its staff to implement its changes.
"It is a challenge for our economy and our businesses to keep abreast of those changes," Constantine said.
Because of the increased rates, Kern County returned to the state's COVID-19 monitoring list on Tuesday, effectively requiring a new round of additional business closures starting Friday, June 24.
He noted the closures implemented under Gov. Gavin Newsom's latest updated mandate will continue indefinitely.
"The governor has indicated that we will come off those orders together, not individually as a county," Constantine said.
The governor had previously ordered all bars statewide to cease indoor and outdoor activities, restaurants to suspend all in-door dining, as well as museums, movie theaters, family event centers and card rooms.
The additional businesses who must suspend all activities include:
• Gyms and fitness centers
• Places of worship and cultural ceremonies, like weddings and funerals
• Offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors
• Personal care services, like nail salons and body waxing (tattoo parlors must close)
• Shopping malls