Kern County continues to ramp up testing efforts

May 26, 2020 /

Kern County’s 10th COVID-19 testing site is set to open this week in the Kern River Valley as the county continues to ramp up its testing efforts.

Megan Person, the chief communications officer for Kern County, said testing is critical to understanding the disease in Kern County and for the reopening of the economy.

“It’s critical for our ability to understand the disease here locally,” Person said. “(Testing) is providing a level of comfort for our residents. We don’t want our residents to feel like they don’t have the tools at their disposal.”

All state and county testing centers in Kern are free and are located in underserved communities, Person said.

“We really want people to take advantage of those (testing centers),” Person said. “We are doing everything we can to remove the barriers so you don’t have to see a private’s physician first.”

There is no criteria for testing. All people need to do is make an appointment at KernCounty.com and bring some type of identification form to the appointment. Health care officials do not ask for any personal information. They just need to confirm the resident’s identification.

As of Monday, there are four state-operated testing sites and five county-operated testing sites open throughout Kern.

Although Kern has ramped up its testing, county officials say they are not testing as many residents as the sites allow them to.

The state-operated testing sites can conduct up to 250 tests per day, while County sites can do anywhere fro 100 to 150 tests per day, according to Person.

In the month of May, there were 3,496 COVID-19 tests conducted at both the State and County sites, Person said. One of the busiest testing centers is the one located at the Richard Pardo Center, 2101 Ridge Road. Person said this site conducts anywhere from 50 to 100 tests per day.

Other sites, like Taft, Ridgecrest and Delano aren’t as busy. The Taft testing location, 100 E. North St., is only conducting an average of 15 to 20 tests per day, while the Ridgecrest, Delano and Oildale locations are conducting averages of 30 to 40 tests per day.

The testing sites are selected based on need, according to Person. The County looks at data to determine where many cases are located.

“The testing centers may not always be in the same place,” Person said. “They are where we see hot spots. We want to provide access to all residents.”

State-operated testing centers: Appointments required for all testing centers

  • Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 South P St., Building 4, Access Gate 27, walk-in, Tuesday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Mojave Veterans Hall, 15580 O St., walk-in, Tuesday- Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Arvin Public Health, 204 S. Hill St., walk-in, Tuesday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • 5th District Drive-Thru at the Richard Prado Senior Center, 2101 Ridge Road, Drive-thru only, Sunday-Friday, 8-11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m.

County-operated testing centers: Appointments required for all testing centers

  • Good Samaritan Hospital in Oildale, 901 Olive Drive, register by calling (661)215-7725, Drive-thru only, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon
  • West Side Health Care District in Taft, 100 E. North Street, register by calling (661)765-1935, Drive-thru, Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3-7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Delano Regional Medical Center, 1401 Garces Highway, register by calling (661)721-5380, walk-in, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Kern River Valley Hospital (coming soon), 6412 laurel Ave., walk-in only.
  • Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, 1081 N. China Lake Blvd., register by calling (866)774-9984 or by texting the word “texting” to (833)774-4968, Drive-thru only, Monday-Friday 8-10:30 a.m.
  • Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley, 1100 Magellan Drive, register by calling (661)771-8775, Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fine more information on how to make an appointment here.

Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez

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