BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — As the coronavirus continues to spread around the country, local officials are sounding off on what you can do to keep yourself healthy, and what Kern County residents may expect in the coming weeks and months.
At a23ABC round table yesterday, officials said there's only a specific subset of people who need to be concerned with getting themselves tested at this point, and there's many more who should not.
"Someone who is having fever, and cough, shortness of breath, but they don't have nay other special features about them, from age, or other comorbitities or other diseases, that is not the individual we want to test for COVID-19," said Dr. Paula Ardron, of Kaiser Permanente.
Doctors are saying that amid the coronavirus pandemic, those symptoms are still more commonly caused by the flu. They say you only need to get a test if you're among those most at-risk.
"They're over age 60, they have cardiovascular disease, maybe they're a cancer patient or they have HIV, something that is affecting their immune system , that is the individual we want to test," Ardron said.
Doctors also say you should get tested if you've recently traveled from places that are hot spots for the disease, like New York, Seattle, or certain countries overseas like Italy. Back home, accelerated Urgent Care is opening a COVID screening tent today at 212 Coffee Road.
"We're gonna test them in a safe environment where they're gonna be in their car waiting, then theyre gonna come inside, be reviewed by a physician, make sure there's no other medical conditions we need to be treating, and then testing them for COVID without exposure to a waiting room," said Dr. Dan Erickson, of Accelerated Urgent Care.
As the coronavirus began spreading around the U.S. earlier this month, many have taken issue with a lack of COVID-19 tests available for the public. Tuesday the White House announced that testing is now becoming more readily available. About 8,000 people were tested on Monday alone. But the number of deaths in the country has now exceeded 100. Several Northern California counties taking extraordinary measures this week, directing all their citizens to shelter in place.
"It will be, now, clear that in the next hours and days that a number of other counties in the state of California will adopt similar strategies," California Governor Gavin Newsom said at a news conference on Tuesday.
When asked how long we should expect these measures to remain in effect...doctors have a simple answer.
"We don't know, and we just need to see how things evolve as things go. And just keep youself informed through the community and through the health department," said Dr. Ronald Reynoso, Chief Medical Officer for Adventist Health.