New COVID-19 testing bill announced in California

February 23, 2022 /

Senator Richard Pan announced a new bill that would require California school districts to create COVID-19 testing plans for students and staff in case of future outbreaks. He said this law is needed to ensure that schools can stay open and safe.

The California Department of Public Health would be working with school districts to develop testing plans. This new bill will apply to pre-schools, childcare centers and afterschool programs.

“We need to make sure schools are safe so that all parents are comfortable sending their children to school,” said Pan, a pediatrician whose legislation has strengthened oversight of vaccine exemptions in previous years. “And we want to keep schools open.”

There are 1,630 newly reported confirmed cases in Kern County bringing the total confirmed cases to date to 233,501. There are six new deaths being reported today and a total of 2,107 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic. 

The 7-day case rate is 36.8 per 100,000.  As of February 21, 1,138,455 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Kern County residents.  55 percent of Kern’s eligible population and 51 percent of Kern’s total population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  As of February 21, Kern County had 120 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and 26 are in the ICU.

“It is very encouraging to see our daily cases continue to decline,” says Brynn Carrigan, Director of Kern County Public Health Services. “Now is the time to strengthen our overall health and prepare for any future variants by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as getting vaccinated and boosted.”

Additionally, Governor Gavin Newsom released the SMARTER Plan as the next phase of California’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The acronym stands for: shots, masks, awareness, readiness, testing, education, and Rx, shorthand for medical prescriptions and other treatments. This Plan continues the preparation, flexibility and systems that we have developed during this pandemic to make us smarter and better prepared for future emergencies.  

“COVID is likely to be in Kern for the near future, if not permanently,” says Carrigan. “We need to learn to safely live with the presence of this disease, but also remain ready to respond to potential future surges.”

In addition to countywide infrastructure of partner testing sites, Kern Public Health helps coordinate mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites throughout the county. A map with this information can be found on their website.

Other vaccination and testing clinics include:

  • 2/25/22- AOUON OFFICE from 12- 4 p.m.
    • 948 Baker St, Bakersfield, CA 93305
  • 2/26/22-Mission Santisimo Sacramento from 2-6 p.m.
    • 2002 S. Chester Ave., CA 93304
  • 2/27/22-The People’s Missionary Baptist Church 12-5 p.m.
    • 1452 Madison St., Bakersfield, CA 93307