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COVID-19

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August 4, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Continuing narrative by Gerald A. Starr, MPH, FACHE; Executive Director

There continues to be an emphasis on COVID19 testing.  The number of positive COVID-19, daily, continues increase.  As of this writing there have been 21,228 residents that have tested positive for COVID-19. In Taft-and our neighbors of Maricopa, Fellows and Tupman-there are a total of 239 positive tests. There have been 151 deaths in Kern County attributed to the COVID-19. The prevalence of positive COVID-19 tests, from all of those tested, has progressed to 16.2%. Hospitalized patients in today’s report is at 248 from a recent high of 263. * The Bakersfield Californian is reporting that local hospitals are facing many challenges in caring for an increasing level of hospitalized patients for COVID-19 and other healthcare needs.

We continue to see variable compliance with the recommended COVID-19 prevention procedures: (Social Distancing and Masking). Generally, from a State-wide perspective, the entire Central Valley is identified as a “Hotspot”. 

The local-region mortality rate from COVID-19 continues to be less than 1% (151/21,228 = .0071). While the risk of dying maybe less than 1%, the hospitalization rate continues as a matter of concern.  Using the KCDPH daily reports we now see daily hospitalizations increasing to about 250 patients a day. Clearly, the outcome of an ever-increasing number of positive COVID-19 individuals, will be increasing the stress placed on available hospital staff and available hospital beds. 

Each of us should renew our commitment to follow the CDC guidelines for handwashing, social distancing and the wearing of masks. Personally, we have the responsibility to protect ourselves and others. 

Should you not feel well and experience flu-like symptoms, respiratory distress or chest pain, you are encouraged to use the appointment or walk-in services of the West Side Family Health Care Clinic. Telephone visits in certain cases may be appropriate if patient and provider agree. 

Public “on demand” nasal testing at no cost continues to be available at the West Side Family Health Care Clinic. The testing is by appointment. (Please call: 661-765-1935). 

YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY IS VERY MUCH OUR CONCERN AND YOU CAN HELP!!!

  • HAND WASHING: FREQUENT, 20-30 SECONDS WITH SOAP  WATER;
  • USE HAND SANITIZER THAT IS ALCOHOL-BASED; PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS!
  • MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING; USE A MASK IN CROWDS OR CLOSE ENCOUNTER ACTIVITIES
  • STAY AT HOME IF YOU ARE NOT FEELING WELL; USE A MASK!

For patients of the West Side Family Health Care Clinic there is testing for COVID-19 for patients with symptoms or exposure. Our tests are FDA-EUA approved and covered by Medicare, Medi-Cal and most insurance plans. The Clinic has the supplies and procedures for both COVID-19 nasal (PCR) and serology (antibody) testing. Our providers (Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physicians Assistants and support staff) are here to serve you.

*Kern County Department of Public Health Website, reported daily;

* Prevalence July 28, 2020 (21,228/131,003 processed = 16.2%)