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Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce holds free, self-swab Covid-19 testing in hopes to promote the importance of getting tested

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Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 20:42:32-04

BAKERSFIELD, Cali — The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Kern County's Public Health Department hosted a free, self-swab Covid-19 testing event at Bakersfield College on Tuesday, in hopes to get as much of the community tested as possible.

“Because we have such good testing availability in Kern County, we encourage everyone to be tested, and that becomes important for many reasons but one of the biggest reasons is, we know that you can have Covid-19 and you don’t even know it,” Michelle Corson, Public Relations Officer for Kern County Public Health, said.

It's reasons like being asymptomatic for Covid-19 why Kern County Public Health wants more people to get tested for the virus.
Another reason is that the county is not administering enough tests to be able to move onto the next tier of the four tier state system.

That's why the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce along with Bakersfield College have teamed up with Kern County Public Health to set up a free self-swab Covid-19 testing site, in hopes that people will feel more comfortable with taking the test.

“A lot of people don’t want to come out and test because they think it’s painful, this is self administered so you’re not going to have to go too far up into your nostril.” Breniesha Herron, one of the nurses at the Covid-19 testing site, told 23ABC.

Herron explains how the self-swab testing process works, and it is pretty simple. All you need to do is enter the swab into your nostrils about one inch deep.

New state policy requires counties to meet a certain testing threshold. As of right now, Kern County needs to administer an average of 607 more tests per day to meet state criteria.

“Here in Kern county, that the amount of testing that happens in our community is now directly tied to how quickly we begin to move through our tiers to reopen our businesses and our schools, the amount of testing that happens in a community directly correlates with our ability to open quicker,” Corson said.

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Bakersfield College and Kern County Public health are working to bring more sites to the community so that more people have the ability to get tested.