Non-resident tests positive for COVID-19 while in Kern

March 17, 2020 /

A non-resident has tested positive for COVID-19 while visiting Kern County, the Kern County Public Health Department announced Tuesday morning in a press release.

It is unknown if the individual who test positive contracted COVID-19 in Kern County, said Matt Constantine, the director of Kern County Public Health Services at a press conference Tuesday morning. The department is still investigating the case.

“This is a time for us all to pull together,” said Constantine. “This is what Kern County does well. We need every one to do their due diligence and take care of each other.”

The non-resident is currently in Kern County self isolating themselves. It is unknown where in Kern County the individual is. Constantine said the individual is recuperating and improving in health.

Public Health has begun tracing potential contacts for this case and will monitor the health of people that traveled with or were in contact with the patient to prevent the spread in our community, the press release said. None of the contacts are symptomatic at this time, according to Constantine.

The Public Health Department is not counting this as a case for Kern County because the person does not reside in Kern County. Constantine said Tuesday morning there are no cases of COVID-19 in Kern, and the risk of transmission remains low in the county.

“The risk in Kern County remains low for disease transmission,” Constantine said.

In California, there are 335 cases of COVID-19, with six deaths. In Kern, eight returning travelers are currently being monitored. The County Health Department has received 84 notifications from health care providers of individuals being test, and 36 are currently negative. The remaining are pending, Constantine said.

Kern County Public Health Services recommends the following protective measures:
1. Wash hands with soap and water often.
2. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Follow package instructions for proper disinfecting.
3. Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
4. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
5. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
6. Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick.

There is no shortage of the ability to get tested or the testing kits, according to Constantine. Those who feel symptoms are encouraged to call their doctor to determine if testing is recommended.

Some facilities, such as Omni Family Health, has set up drive through facilities for testing.

“The testing procedures are in place,” Constatine said.

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Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez is the program associate for South Kern Sol. She can be reached at elizabeth@southkernsol.org.