McCarthy Announces Location of COVID-19 Surge Testing in Bakersfield
Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has approved surge testing in Bakersfield, California at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Surge testing provides additional temporary federal support to areas that have seen a recent spike in coronavirus cases.
McCarthy released the following statement:
“The introduction of surge testing in Bakersfield marks an important milestone in our efforts to mitigate COVID-19 locally. Now, not only will our community have increased testing capabilities at no additional cost due to federal assistance, but this testing will become available to the public in two days. I am grateful to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Kern County Public Health Department, the Trump Administration, and the State of California for recognizing this important need, and I remain committed to ensuring that our community and state have the necessary resources to manage this pandemic.”
ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD, Assistant Secretary for HHS, released the following statement:
“We are standing up surge testing sites to support areas hard hit by COVID-19. Surge testing is one of many tools the Federal government can deploy to assist local leadership to reduce community spread of the virus. The intent of surge testing efforts is to help public health experts in Bakersfield identify new cases, especially those who are asymptomatic.”
Kern County Public Health Department Director, Matt Constantine, released the following statement:
"Testing is the cornerstone for protecting our community against COVID19. When followed by isolation and contact tracing these three actions can significantly slow the spread of the disease and diminish it’s impact on our residents."
Testing at the surge locations is available to individuals five years and older – including those experiencing symptoms; those who believe they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19; and anyone who is worried about possibly having the virus. Individuals seeking testing do not need to be a resident of the community where these testing sites are located. Individuals under 18 years old must have a parent or legal guardian present to consent to testing.
These surge sites rely on a separate network of labs for processing and will help clear the backlog of tests causing delays locally.