The Central Valley Becomes a COVID-19 Hot Spot

As experts long feared, the novel coronavirus—once mostly confined to densely populated cities—is hitting California’s rural areas. The Central Valley is now a hot spot.

For the seven-day period that ended Sunday, Aug. 2, Kern County reported 12,098 cases. The 14-day positive test rate hit 24% on Aug. 3, compared to a state average of 7%.

National infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci called it “a predictor of trouble ahead.” White House coronavirus task force physician Dr. Deborah Birx also singled out the Central Valley as an area of national concern.

“Although L.A. may be looking a bit better, there’s significant movement of virus from Bakersfield all the way up the Central Valley into Stockton," Birx warned.

Eight out of the 10 California counties with the highest rates of coronavirus infections are in the Central Valley, according to the Los Angeles Times' California coronavirus tracker.

They are:

1. Kern (1,064.6 in 100,000) *

2. Merced (643.7 in 100,000) *

3. Tulare (533.8 in 100,000) *

4. Colusa (517.1 in 100,000) *

5. Kings (504.4 in 100,000) *

6. Fresno (497.8 in 100,000) *

7. Madera (430.9 in 100,000) *

8. San Bernardino (395.7 in 100,000)

9. Imperial (378.5 in 100,000)

10. Stanislaus (372.1 in 100,000) *


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