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VACCINE ROLL-OUT INCREASES IN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BATTLE STRATEGYalth News

Please follow the CDC guidelines of hand hygiene with masking and social distancing procedures.

PUBLIC ON-DEMAND COVID-19 (NO COST) TESTS AND FLU SHOTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT AT WEST SIDE FAMILYHEALTH CLINIC 765-1935 at 100 E. North Street, Taft

January 18, 2021 

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

The fight for control of the COVID-19 pandemic continues. California in most locations---including the Central Valley--is experiencing a high incidence of positive tests and hospitalizations.  For an update on the COVID-19 testing in the State and Kern County: The State COVID-19 Data Tracker reports today that as of 1/17/21 the rate of positive tests statewide is 12.2 %. The 14-day average for Kern County is 22.6 % positive. +

Kern County had 6,460 positive tests between 1/11/21 and 1/18/21.  That is a positive rate of 923/day. There have been 565 deaths in Kern County attributed to the COVID-19. * KCDPH reports today there are 383 patients hospitalized.  In Taft and our neighbors of Maricopa, Fellows, McKittrick and Tupman-as of January 18th-there are 1,468 positive tests.  We continue to experience an increase in the positive rate although the rate may be a slowing as we distance from the recent holiday gatherings.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are expected to provide immunity at 94% from the COVID-19 virus. There are reports that variants of the COVID-19 are beginning to surface. Apparently, the variant is transmitted at a higher rate; however, the resulting symptoms and severity of illness remain the same. The vaccines also appear to develop immunity to the mutating virus.

West Side Family Health Care has received the Moderna vaccine that is administered in two doses. The second dose is given approximately 28-days following the first dose. Subject to the supply of vaccines, we will continue vaccinations by appointment according to the priority mandated by the California Department of Public Health. The current Vaccination priority has progressed to Phase 1b, Tier 2 for individuals 65 years and older.  

The State Department of Public Health priorities for vaccination are published on the Kern County Department of Public Health website and the COVID-19 Dashboard. As the individuals in each tier are vaccinated there will be progress through the remaining tier priorities. The objective is to reach a level of “community Immunity” with 70% of the eligible population having received the vaccine. Hopefully by late spring of 2021.

There are reports regarding side effects with those receiving the vaccine. The most common are “flu shot” type of side effects. No individual can be REQUIRED to take the vaccine should they choose not to.

West Side Family Health Care will continue all of our primary care, walk-in and COVID-19 healthcare services. Telephone visits in certain cases may be appropriate if patient and provider agree. The Clinic has both rapid turnaround COVID-19 Antigen (rapid turnaround) and PCR tests available.

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

+ COVID-19.CA.GOV; CDC COVID DATA TRACKER

DO YOU KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS? - GERALD (JERRY) STARR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: WEST SIDE HEALTH CARE DISTRICT 

At times when I get really busy I can be surprised…Gosh it’s Friday already? Or, at times, when I’m on vacation I might not even pay attention to whether it’s Monday or Wednesday or Friday until the time comes to leave the beauty of Yosemite or the awesome power of the Grand Canyon. Of course, we track the days that mean a lot to us: the birthdays, the anniversaries, the 4th of July and Christmas…

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BED BUGS- GERALD (JERRY) STARR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: WEST SIDE HEALTH CARE DISTRICT 

Have you ever heard: “Good Night, Sleep tight and don’t let the Bed Bugs Bite!”? Well, that may have been a comment as mom or dad tucked us in for the night a generation ago; but, recently?  Bed Bugs have re-emerged as a “for real” household pest. Bed bugs are an annoying and biting pest! Bed bugs, if present in your home, are a real concern to control-and-“a must” for you to remove yourself and…

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NATIONAL HEALTH CARE STATISTICS AND POPULATION HEALTH FROM A WESTSIDE KERN COUNTY POINT OF VIEW – GERALD (JERRY) STARR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR; WEST SIDE HEALTH CARE DISTRICT

I have always heard that Statistics can be boring! At times, however, Statistics can be “Wow” or “Gee Whiz” “I didn’t know that”! Well, let’s look at some of the statistics that present challenges and opportunities for Westside Family Health Care-our Rural Health Clinic. First, citizens of the Westside of Kern County might find some of the national 2018 Key Healthcare Industry statistics…

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