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COVID-19 surge testing site to remain open as Kern County Public Health releases new numbers

COVID-19 Surge Testing Site at Kern County Fairgrounds
Posted at 11:22 AM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 19:58:19-04

The Kern County Health Department added an additional 291 cases to the county dashboard bringing the local total to more than 21,700. Officials also reported no new deaths as that total number remains at 152.

More than 6,000 residents have recovered and more than 110,000 or 83 percent of all local tests have come back negative.

We're also learning the surge testing site at the Kern County Fairgrounds is sticking around longer than originally planned. It was set to end this Sunday. A new 12-day extension starts on Monday.

The free drive-thru testing facility is at the Kern County Fairgrounds and was brought to Bakersfield thanks in part to Congressman Kevin McCarthy.

Kern County Public Health Director Matt Constantine said several local hospitals are either at or above capacity for their ICU beds and that now there's a nursing shortage for those beds. The hospitals with a shortage include Adventist Health Bakersfield, Kern Medical, and both Mercy Southwest and Mercy Downtown, which Constantine says is a major problem.

"That is a concern to us of course. This is what we have been preparing for some time. Recently the board of supervisors approved a new agreement to give us funding to provide more than 80 icu nurses that will be distributed out to our large acute care hospitals, those nurses are now arriving and being assigned to help staff up additional ICU beds."

Constantine also said the state has provided a number of medical teams to help with these imminent staffing shortages. So far teams have been deployed or sent to Adventist Health Delano, Kern Medical, Adventist Health Bakersfield, and Mercy and Memorial hospitals.

You can watch the full briefing below:

Kern County Health Department Coronavirus Update: August 6, 2020