Kern County says tests at the mobile COVID-19 testing site were not counted

Posted at 7:24 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 22:34:25-04

Thursday the Kern County Public Health Department held a news briefing, where officials continued to address some of the frustrations that officials are feeling in regard to the state's framework for reopening the economy.

"The state is now looking at the number of tests that we perform on a daily basis and comparing them to the state average. Because the state has indicated that our average testing rate is lower than the state's average testing rate they have augmented our rate increasing it from 6.7 to 7.5. That puts us back into the purple tier," said Public Health Director Matt Constantine.

And there's one more thing the county is frustrated with and it has to do with a federal COVID-19 testing site that's been mobilized around Kern County at the fairgrounds in recent months. So far 8,600 people have been tested there, but those results are not being counted by the state.

8,600 tests not being counted by the state

"These thousands of tests that are being done in our community by our federal partners, they're not being counted," said Kern County Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop.

Kern Public Health said the state is only accounting for testing numbers submitted electronically, and the federal site is sending numbers manually through fax so they're not being counted. Alsop also said he doesn't believe the governor is aware of the issue.

Backlogged tests will not be counted, even after being entered into the system

Alsop added by saying the county has drafted a resolution to the state demanding what he calls "clarity and consistency and continuity" regarding Governor Newsom's directives to Kern County.

The board of supervisors will vote whether to send that resolution to the state at their next meeting on Tuesday.