County official says more than 80 residents and staff infected


Seven residents of the Kingston Health Care Center in Bakersfield have died from COVID-19, a top Kern County official confirmed Friday.

County Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop also said more than 80 patients and staff at the 184-bed facility have tested positive for the virus.

The Kingston deaths account for nearly half of the county's death toll of 15.

Kingston is the site of Kern largest outbreak reported to date. A week ago, the county confirmed that multiple patients and staff had tested positive for the virus and additional health care workers from both the state and county ere helping at the nursing home. 

At the same time, several Kern County Public Health Department employees, including spokeswoman Michelle Corson, are isolating at home after coming into contact with a person who is COVID-19 positive.

Corson conducted a video briefing from her home Friday morning.

She said she and the others are isolating for two weeks "out of an abundance of caution."

"Some of us at public health came were exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19," she said.