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Kern County Public Health explains pending coronavirus tests

Posted at 3:19 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 18:36:06-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Kern County Public Health Director Matt Constantine was questioned Tuesday morning about the large number of pending coronavirus tests in Kern County.

According to public health records, there are 3,957 pending tests in Kern, as of Tuesday morning. During the Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Zack Scrivner asked Constantine why there were so many pending cases. Constantine responded by explaining that labs are required by law to report positive results to public health, but not required to report negative results.

"It's important to note that those pending tests are mostly made up of likely negative results. So when a test is taken and a lab determines that they are negative, they are not required by law to tell public health about that negative test result. So then that suspect case, that pending case is what its called, stays stagnant on the website," Constantine said.

Constantine said they have a number of employees who focus of contacting labs in order to get updates on those pending tests. Once they confirm a pending test was negative, the case is removed from the dashboard.