Kern County COVID-19 Memorial to unveil additional names

Posted at 8:11 AM, Mar 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-26 11:11:41-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — It’s been two years since Kern County reported it’s first case of COVID-19. Since then, over 2,00 people have died due to COVID.

Here in Bakersfield, a local company took it upon themselves to create a memorial that residents could use to honor loved ones lost and on Saturday, they’ll be unveiling another section with even more names.

The memorial currently has over 300 names, each honoring a loved one who lost their life due to COVID.

Kevin Russell, owner of American Fabrication, designed and manufactured the memorial.

In fact, the whole idea of the memorial came to Russell after he lost his best friend to COVID-19.

Now this wall bringing solace to hundreds of families in Kern County, just like Joey Keener who lost his mother, Christina, back in October. While she’d recovered from her initial COVID-19 diagnosis, her pre-existing condition kept her hospitalized and on a ventilator.

With the unveiling of the new section on the memorial, Christina Keener will have her name visible for all to see, day or night.

Russell plans to continue adding names to the memorial. If you'd like to submit the name of a loved one, you can do so here.

The unveiling of the latest addition to the memorial will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at 4940 Gilmore Avenue.