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Kern County Fairgrounds to be used as temporary COVID-19 isolation unit for homeless

Posted at 4:56 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 20:28:50-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Kern County is now relying on the Fairgrounds to play a vital role in the fight against the coronavirus, now that 15 state owned trailers have been set up on the grounds to help quarantine the homeless.

The count Fairgrounds are now the new homestead for the temporary housing isolation solution, as COVID-19 continues to threaten individuals who live outside, along encampments or in crowded shelters. Officials say un-sheltered groups are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 but this move provides an additional location for homeless individuals to self isolate.

"The individuals who come here have COVID-19,” Kern Medical Chief Executive Russell Judd said.

Officials said those who have COVID-19 that no longer need ongoing care but still need a place to go, will be referred to the Fairgrounds temporary isolation unit by doctors from local hospitals, "Referrals will be sent out here, individuals will be picked up from a hospital or from another medical clinic and will be transported out here so it is a referral only basis location.”

All trailers are hooked up to power, water, sewage and they are sanitized before and after use. Kern Medical aids will be delivering three meals a day to patients plus snacks and no visitors or pets are allowed.

"No nurses will be here a medical assistant will be here to provide care and awareness and again this is not a medical treatment area this is an isolation area.”

Trans West Security company will be responsible for monitoring the temporary isolation unit that was made possible by state funding.

"We hope to have this open as soon as tomorrow.”

Health officials say they estimate at least five patients with COVID-19 will start isolating at the Fairgrounds by Friday. After all 15 are filled up, other patients will be placed on a waiting list but patients will not be able to depart until their symptoms subside.

“At a minimum of seven days post the on set of symptoms they must be fever free with no fever reducing medication for 72 hours." Judd said. "If you wanted to guess a number its probably approximately two weeks.”