The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Toni DeRosa and Jamie Stewart
Wasco Tribune & The Shafter Press 

Creating the next new world


Last updated 5/23/2020 at 1:53pm | View PDF

As of Tuesday, Wasco has had 36 cases of COVID-19, with 26 recoveries. In Shafter, there have been 34 confirmed cases with 30 of those reported as recovered.

No one here has died of the virus, according to the county Department of Public Health’s website dashboard.

There were 632 confirmed cases in the county, with 234 recovered and 22 are hospitalized in the county.

On the Kern County Public Health dashboard, Wasco (ZIP code 93280) has had 36 test positive for the virus and 26 have recovered with no deaths reported in the city.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said that 53 out of 58 counties are eligible to enter into Phase II, which requires counties to have hospitalization rates that don’t increase more than 5% over seven days and have less than 25 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days.

The county Board of Supervisors voted to certify its readiness at Tuesday’s meeting. The county will now send a request to the state.

In Shafter, the City Council announced that they will be doing a test run next Wednesday at the Shafter Police Department Conference Room as it attempts to begin having in-person City Council meetings again. This procedure would mean that the council members, the city clerk and city attorney would meet in the conference room together to hold their meeting, while practicing social distancing required. According to City Manager Gabriel Gonzales, “This would be a great alternative. The public would still be able to view the meeting on the Zoom app, but the councilmembers would be all in one room, making it easier to conduct the meeting, especially with the Powerpoint presentations and other tools that are utilized during the budget preparation meetings.”

The Health Department stated that there is hope that the epidemic is nearing its end; however, many places must continue to monitor social distancing and the wearing of protective masks.

President Donald Trump has presented guidelines for Opening up America Again in three phases.

The guidelines include:

--Continue to follow state and local guidance as well as Center for Disease Control guidance, especially by continuing to wear face coverings.

--Continue to practice good hygiene by washing hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces.

--Avoid touching your face.

--Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.

--Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

--Strongly consider using face coverings while in public and particularly when using mass transit.

People who feel sick should stay home:

--Do not go to work or school.

--Contact and follow the advice of your medical provider.


--Employers.[END BOLD] Develop and implement appropriate policies, in accordance with federal, state and local regulations and use the industry’s best practices regarding the following:

--Social distancing and protective equipment.

--Temperature checks.


--Use and disinfection of common and high-traffic areas.

--Business travel.

--Grocery stores and other shopping destinations.

--Continue to encourage telework whenever possible.

Phase I states that all vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.

All individuals when in public (i.e., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping), areas should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 10 people, where appropriate, should continue distancing.

Everyone should avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people when possible.


individuals. Vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practiced, could carry the virus back home. Precaution should be in place to isolate from vulnerable residents.

When in public, individuals should maximize physical distancing from others. Social settings of more than 50 people, where appropriate, distancing may not be practical should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.

Employers. Employers should continue to encourage telework whenever possible.

Close common areas where people congregate and interact or enforce moderate social distancing protocols.

Under Phase 2, elective surgeries can resume on an outpatient and in-patient basis at facilities that adhere to guidelines.

In addition, gyms can remain open if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols while bars may operate with diminished standing-room occupancy, where applicable and appropriate.


Vulnerable individuals can resume public interactions, but should practice physical distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.

Low-risk populations should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.

Employers. Resume unrestricted staffing of worksites.

Hospitals can resume. Those who interact with residents and patients must continue to be diligent regarding hygiene.

Sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship can operate under limited physical distancing.

In addition, gyms can open if they adhere to standard sanitation protocols.

And bars may operate with increased standing-room occupancy, where applicable.


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