Serving the community since 1970

Residents ordered to stay home

Limiting exposure to virus changes life for all

Wasco residents, like those throughout the state, are under orders to stay home and “shelter in place” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Gavin Newsom told residents of California last Thursday that he was issuing a mandate that residents of California stay home, although the order does not include essential services.

Essential services include grocery stores, health care facilities, law enforcement, gas stations, car repair shops and financial institutions. The order allows people to go to the grocery store if they need to, but even then, residents are encouraged to practice the safe social distance to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, working in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies, is implementing new procedures in response to the pandemic.

The purpose is to ensure the health and safety of the community “as public safety is our number one priority,” according to a press release.

KCSO and other law enforcement agencies have procedures in place to provide mutual aid on a local and state level should a law enforcement agency have staffing issues due to illness.

The department is requesting cooperation when residents call emergency services to alert the department if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 so they can have an appropriate response.

Law enforcement will respond to any life-threatening and/or emergency calls. However, if a member of the public is calling to report an incident that is not life-threatening and not in-progress, they will be taking phone reports, the release said. The department still will respond to the area as needed to address any other portions of the investigation, but will be limiting contact with the public for the safety and protection of community members and peace officers.

For nonemergencies, please contact the KCSO Communications Center at 661-861-3110. You also can make an online report at

KCSO will be cancelling participation in all community events at least through the month of March. All civilian ride-a-longs will be canceled as well, they said.

Tuesday night, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced that prison visitations would be canceled statewide until further notice. Today, in response, KCSO will be suspending all normal visitation and classes at all detention facilities until further notice. Attorney visits will continue; however, we ask all attorneys to please refrain from visiting the facilities if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of being ill.

There are no cases of COVID-19 being investigated in our detention facilities. These measures are to ensure the safety of all those in our custody and care. The Kern County Public Health Department has not reported any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kern County. We encourage people to monitor the latest impacts of coronavirus by visiting the following websites from these trusted sources: and

The Sheriff’s Office is monitoring the situation closely while working in partnership with our local, state, and federal partners to ensure the safety of our community and employees.


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