Today, the State of California and Kern County announced the opening of a new test site aimed at serving some of the most impacted Californians in the Central Valley.
The new Bakersfield location will have surge testing capabilities with the ability to conduct 5,000 tests per day.
“Data has shown that the Central Valley has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This new site combined with efforts announced by Governor Newsom will help local agencies in the fight against the virus and save lives,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci.
“Testing is the cornerstone for protecting our community against COVID19. When followed by isolation and contact tracing these three actions can significantly slow the spread of the disease and diminish its impact on our residents,” said Matt Constantine, Kern County Public Health Services Director.
The testing site will be fully operational beginning tomorrow and will remain open through August 9, 2020. Site location and hours:
Kern County Fairgrounds Harvest Hall
1142 South P Street, Gate 26
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Hours of Operation: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Today’s announcement builds on actions announced by Governor Gavin Newsom Monday on additional targeted actions to support the Central Valley – a region seeing concerning virus spread that is disproportionately impacting Latinos. The Governor announced $52 million for Central Valley counties – San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern – to help expand disease investigation, contact tracing and quarantine efforts.
Statewide, Latinos make up 38.9 percent of the population but comprise a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases (56 percent) and deaths (45.7 percent). In the Central Valley, where between 41-65 percent of any given county is Latino, there are a disproportionate number of Latino deaths compared to population – for example, in Fresno County, Latinos comprise 52.6 percent of the population and 65 percent of COVID-19 deaths. Data has also shown that of the cases where we have no race or ethnicity data, based on surnames, local public health officials estimate that roughly 70 percent appear Latino, thus the current case numbers likely underestimate the total number of Latinos who are impacted by the virus.
Individuals interested in getting tested at this location can register for an appointment here. For more information on California’s COVID-19 efforts, resources and testing guidance, visit covid19.ca.gov.