Ten more people have died and more than 1,000 new cases of coronavirus in Kern County were reported Wednesday morning, as cases continue a rapid ascent locally.
Total deaths has now reached 115 in Kern and cases now exceed 11,000. The number of individuals tested is approaching 110,000 out of a countywide population of 900,000.
In addition, local hospitals took in another 32 COVID-19 patients in a 48-hour period from Sunday to Tuesday, according to a state hospitalization tracker.
In recent weeks, the daily number of new cases was hovering around 100 to 150 per day but on Saturday they hit just under 500 and the number has increased every day since then.
On Tuesday, Kern was added back on the state’s watchlist of counties that are exceeding certain COVID-19 metrics.
Why are cases increasing so much?
That watchlist states: “The likely drivers of elevated disease transmission include: 1) An exponential expansion of testing Kern County residents; 2) Transmission in Skilled Nursing Facilities, prisons and other congregate facilities; 3) Household contacts and social gatherings among separate households.”
County officials said earlier this week that the number of people tested began to rapidly increase earlier this month.
An epidemiologist from UC Irvine, Andrew Noymer, said the growth is what eventually happens in an exponentially growing pandemic, where the rate of increase is proportional to the size of the number of cases.