County could go back into purple tier if it fails next week too

Kern County failed to meet state metrics for COVID-19 this week and, if it fails again next week, many businesses that have reopened, including restaurants, could be impacted.

Kern County Public Health Director Matt Constantine told the kern County Board of Supervisors Tuesday that Kern is not meeting the less-restrictive red tier metrics that it did for several weeks.

"This is a warning signal to us," Constantine said. "If we continue to fail on Tuesday of next week, the state will force us back into the purple tier."

Moving from the purple tier up to the red tier that allowed school districts to start reopening, churches to hold indoor worship services and restaurants to serve customers indoors.

Most schools would not be affected, but schools that haven't started reopening would not be allowed to open.

The COVID-19 infection rate in Kern has been on the increase for several days, reversing a weeks-long trend of lower cases.

Tuesday, the county reported 143 new cases.

The death toll remained at 429.

In the Taft area, the total number of COVID-19 infections rose to 578 Tuesday.