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Kern County's Latino COVID-19 Task Force to host three new free testing sites

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


October 24, 2020

The Kern County Latino COVID-19 Task Force is announcing three additional FREE COVID-19 testing sites to be held as it continues to work toward increasing Kern County’s testing numbers and access for local residents.

“Many residents and businesses are relieved and excited to see us in the less restrictive red tier stage. Businesses are finally opening their doors; however, if we want to remain in this stage or improve, we need to continue to keep testing and increasing access,” said Jay Tamsi, co-founder of the Kern County Latino COVID-19 Task Force.

Tamsi added that the county is still required to meet state guidelines to remain at this stage or be moved. Among the key weekly standards are increased testing results. By holding these FREE COVID-19 testing sites, the Latino COVID-19 Task Force hopes to reach more residents especially in eastern Bakersfield, Arvin and Lamont. Local health organizations and the city of Arvin will be collaborating on these events.

The testing sites will be as follows:

When: Friday, October 23, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Vallarta Supermarkets, 5951 East Niles Ave., Bakersfield.

Dignity Health to provide free hand sanitizer at this site.

When: Saturday, October 24, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Di Giorgio Park, Arvin.

The City of Arvin will be providing free facemasks at this site.

When: Sunday, October 25, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: San Augustine Church, 10601 Myrtle Ave., Lamont.

Adventist Health will be providing free cloth facemasks at this site.

Walk-ins are welcomed and encouraged as there are no pre-registration requirements. The collaboration asks people to please wear a mask and social distance while on site.

“We are having great results and seeing a good number of people being tested,” Jay Tamsi, co-founder says. “We need to ensure that the Latino population and our entire county is being tested, and self-isolating at home when needed to stop the spread of COVID-19. The more access we can provide the community, the stronger and healthier we will be. This pandemic is very serious; we need to remember to wear a mask, social distance, wash our hands and comply with the CDC guidelines.”

The Latino COVID-19 Task Force was formed after multiple community leaders recognized that a disproportionate number of Kern’s positive tests were Latinos. This is due to many holding essential worker professions, such as jobs in the service and farm industries to distribution and public service work. Kern County will remain in the highest tier, the widespread stage, until it can meet state standards, one of which requires an increased number of testing of local residents.


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