Collaborating to Mitigate COVID-19 from the Central Valley

July 29, 2020 | View Online

Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy held a press conference with ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD, Assistant Secretary for HHS and Matt Constatine, Director of the Kern County Public Health Department, to discuss the new surge testing site which opens today at the Kern County Fairgrounds:

Highlights of the press conference can be read below, or you can watch the press conference in its entirety here:

 

 
Highlights from Congressman McCarthy:
"As we battle [COVID-19], being able to be tested, being able to trace it, and get the results back quickly...gives us a better handle of the treatment, and to really mitigate COVID throughout the Central Valley...

"It has been a great collaboration together. Think about it, you have a unit up in less than a week, going to provide this for the next two weeks free of charge: lab work, staff, everything about it - I haven't seen this anyplace else, really, to be able to do something like this, it's really amazing the collaboration together."
 
Highlights from ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD, Assistant Secretary for HHS:
"I really appreciated [McCarthy's] communication for us to gain a great understanding of what's going on in your district...The goal is to already supplement the excellent [Kern County Public Health Department]...We are planning to be there to do up to 60,000 tests, that's up to 5,000 per day. 

"It starts from [McCarthy's leadership and providing the funds to so that we can to get these services and really serve the communities that are in most need."
 
Highlights from Kern County Public Health Department Director, Matt Constantine:
"The ability for [McCarthy and HHS] to respond so quickly to establish this site...is just fantastic, and it is so timely...With the ability to do 5,000 [tests] a day, to have quick turnarounds, to have it be a drive through, to have it be free -- [surge testing] has taken away all the barriers. I am optimistic this is really going to help us get a better control and to implement some local control so that we can get a hold of this and get our businesses back open."
 

Additional Information Regarding Testing:
The surge testing site at the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield, California will open today at 2:00pm PT. You can pre-register here. Walk-ups are also accepted.

Testing at the surge locations is available to all individuals – including those experiencing symptoms; those who believe they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19; and anyone who is worried about possibly having the virus. Individuals seeking testing do not need to be a resident of the community where these testing sites are located. Individuals under 18 years old must have a parent or legal guardian present to consent to testing. Results are expected to be available 3-5 days following a test. 

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