Following COVID-19 outbreak at Wasco farm, officials calling for more attention to ag workers

Farm Worker
Posted at 3:33 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 18:34:14-04

WASCO, Calif. — Farmworkers at a local farm in Wasco have tested positive for COVID-19 causing the farm to close completely to thoroughly clean everything. Now officials are calling on more help for those in our agriculture industry.

Executive Director of the California Farmworker Foundation Hernan Hernandez said he thinks the state and federal government need to designate more Personal Protective Equipment for farmworkers.

"One example, for us here in Kern County we distributed over 100,000 facemasks for farmworkers just in this county alone," Hernandez said. "The plan for us alone is to distribute 250,000 over the next two weeks."

Hernandez said the state issuing $52 million to support the Central Valley is just a start to helping the problem.

"Farmworkers, they should be at the forefront when it comes to help and aid because they sustain the world's economy."

Tracking the spread of COVID-19 among farmworkers, or any specific occupation, is difficult because patients are not required to list their occupation when they get tests. But all that could change.

Assembly Bill 685 is currently making its way through the California legislature, but if passed employers would be required to provide a 24-hour notice to all employees at a worksite should any worker be exposed to COVID-19 and required to report a workplace COVID-19 positive test, diagnosis, order to quarantine or isolate, or death that could be COVID-19 related to Cal/OSHA and the California Department of Public Health.

The bill would also require the Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the State Department of Public Health to make the information publicly available on their internet websites, as specified.

Coronavirus Testing Sites - Kern County

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State-Provided Sites
  • Must have an appointment
  • Free, but if have insurance they will bill
  • No screening criteria

Kern County Fairgrounds
1142 South P Street, Building 4, Access Gate 27

Rosamond Library
3611 Rosamond Blvd, Rosamond CA 93560

Arvin Public Health
204 S Hill Street, Arvin

Wasco Library
1102 7th Street

County-Provided Sites
  • Must have an appointment
  • Free
  • No screening criteria
  • Operating with existing provider

Oildale - Good Samaritan Hospital
901 Olive Drive, Bakersfield
  • For Registration call (661) 215-7725
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 8 pm, Saturday 8 am - 12 pm

Ridgecrest - Ridgecrest Regional Hospital
1081 N. China Lake Blvd, Ridgecrest
  • For Registration: Text the word "testing" to 833-774-4968 Or Call 866-774-9984
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Delano - Delano Regional Medical Center
1401 Garces Hwy, Delano
  • No Drive-Thru option
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm

Kern River Valley - Kern Valley Hospital
6412 Laurel Ave, Mt Mesa Wheelchair Logo
  • For Registration call (760) 379-2681 ext 267
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Wednesday - Thursday from 7 am - 2 pm.
Tehachapi - Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley
1100 Magellan Dr 93561

Lamont - Kern County Library
8304 Segrue Road, Lamont, CA 93241
  • For registration call 661-869-6018
  • Drive-Thru and Walk-Up<
  • Testing available for ages 5+ only; parents must be present and give consent for children
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 9 am - 2 pm; Tuesday, Thursday 2 pm - 7 pm

Taft - West Side Health Care District
  • For Registration call (661) 765-1935
  • Drive-Thru<
  • TTesting available for all ages; parents must be present and give consent for children
  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm & 3 pm – 7 pm; Saturday 11 am – 3 pm