Supervisor Leticia Perez opens East Bakersfield Testing Site
May 9, 2020
On May 5, Kern County 5th District Supervisor and Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Leticia Perez officially opened the County’s first free drive-thru California community-based testing site (CBTS) for COVID-19. On May 4, the site conducted a soft opening for medical personnel only. Testing is available by appointment only.
“The residents of East Bakersfield are some of the most medically underserved populations in the nation. Many of these individuals are helping keep our vital services operational and I believe they deserve better. That is why I fought hard to bring free testing here in our community to test our most at risk populations as a first step in getting our society back open,” said Perez.
Supervisor Perez worked directly with Governor Newsom, the Community Organized Relief Effort, known as CORE, Verily, an Alphabet company, as well as Good Samaritan Hospital and Kern Health Systems to bring this test site to East Bakersfield and is a part of the Governor’s efforts to prioritize testing of essential workers, communities of color and low income communities.
CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), who provides the operational function of this site is an emergency relief nonprofit organization co-founded by Sean Penn and Ann Lee. CORE is focused on expanding free COVID-19 testing to vulnerable and underserved communities, including low income groups and communities of color as well as first responders and essential workers. In a combined statement, co-founders Sean Penn and Ann Lee shared, “We must continue offering free COVID-19 testing for underserved communities who need it most – regardless of immigration status or occupation – and our partnership with Governor Newsom and Kern County has made that possible for Bakersfield and the invaluable farmworkers living there. We are grateful to The Rockefeller Foundation grant that funded the expansion of testing across the State of California.”
Verily’s Baseline COVID-19 Program provides a connected solution to support individuals from screening through testing and receipt of their test results. Verily developed the Baseline COVID-19 Program working closely with state and local government health authorities and other private health organizations to expand access to COVID-19 screening and testing in areas with a high volume of known cases. The Baseline COVID-19 Program is being used by numerous California community-based testing sites and has supported the testing of thousands of people for COVID-19 across nine states.
Kern County residents can now screen their symptoms and, if eligible, make an appointment for testing online using the Baseline COVID-19 Program online screener and appointment scheduling system found at http://www.projectbaseline.com/COVID19.
Eligible persons must be 18 years or older, live in Kern County and electronically sign the COVID-19 Public Health Authorization Form and Lab Consent. Based on the COVID-19 screener and testing appointment availability, individuals will learn whether they are eligible for testing through this program and be provided a testing location appointment. Testing is available for those with symptoms of COVID-19 as well as asymptomatic individuals who work as first responders, work in a healthcare or a long term facility, or work in a jail or prison. The screening and testing criteria are based on guidelines from the California Department of Public Health and may be updated to reflect the latest guidance from public health authorities.
Good Samaritan Hospital
Built in 1959, Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH) is located in Oildale, Calif. Good Samaritan Hospital has been and continues to be an integral part of the Kern County health care delivery system. Situated at the heart of Oildale and serve predominantly the underserved population. GSH is a general acute care full service 64 bed community hospital. There are currently 39 medical/surgical beds, four ICU beds and 21 acute adult psychiatric beds. We are thankful that we got this opportunity to serve our community.
Kern Health Systems
Kern Health Systems, the County Health Authority, is an independent public agency that governs Kern Family Health Care, the Health Plan of more than 263,000 members. As a public entity, Kern Health Systems’ mission is dedicated to improving the health status of our members through an integrated managed health care delivery system.
(Community Organized Relief Effort)
CORE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and strengthening communities affected by or vulnerable to crisis. Within hours of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, founder Sean Penn mobilized a powerful network to take immediate action. More than 10 years later, CORE continues to lead sustainable programs focused on four pillars: emergency relief, disaster preparedness, environmental resiliency and community building. The organization has expanded beyond Haiti to support communities in The Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the United States. CORE has taken a leadership position in the COVID-19 response to provide free testing for high-risk individuals and vulnerable communities. More information: http://www.coreresponse.org/COVID19 and follow CORE on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.