6 months after global health emergency declared, doctors call on US to reset its COVID-19 response

6 months after global health emergency declared, doctors call on US to reset its COVID-19 response
Posted at 7:50 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 22:50:24-04

Thursday marks six months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health emergency. The coronavirus is only the sixth time a global health emergency has been declared.

Compared to the previous five emergencies, experts say the coronavirus pandemic is easily the most severe.

Here in the United States, we’re still far behind when it comes to recovery. Health security experts at Johns Hopkins University say we have seen some success in treating the virus, but there hasn't been much success in responding to it, especially when it comes to testing.

“Many states did not invest in testing and many states did not invest in contact tracers, so when you see cases spiral out of control in certain states, it's not surprising to me,” Dr. Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins University said. “That's exactly the recipe you would set up if you wanted cases to rise.”

Dr. Adalja says in order to tackle the spread of the virus, the US needs to prioritize testing, tracing and isolating.

Health experts across the country have also signed a letter calling on the US to shut down the country and start over. The letter includes a list of recommendations for what's needed before cities can reopen. It calls for enhanced testing capabilities, more contact tracers and more personal protective equipment.

Dr. Bill Hanage at Harvard University was one of those who signed the letter, and says safely reopening can happen, “If we look at countries like New Zealand, South Korea, then you can actually see that it is possible with sustained action to shut down, strangle the virus, throw it back to the sea, and then you can open with substantial amounts of normal economy.”

Hanage adds that while it can be done, it's yet to be seen if the US is capable of doing this.

The Association of American Medical Colleges has also offered a road map that would change the country's approach to the pandemic. It calls for some of the same things other doctors have asked for -- testing, tracing, and more PPE.

It also goes further and asks for broad health insurance coverage for people who have lost their jobs, remedying drug shortages, and establishing national standards on face coverings.

Coronavirus Testing Sites - Kern County

View Testing Locations Map

State-Provided Sites
  • Must have an appointment
  • Free, but if have insurance they will bill
  • No screening criteria

Kern County Fairgrounds
1142 South P Street, Building 4, Access Gate 27

Rosamond Library
3611 Rosamond Blvd, Rosamond CA 93560

Arvin Public Health
204 S Hill Street, Arvin

Wasco Library
1102 7th Street

County-Provided Sites
  • Must have an appointment
  • Free
  • No screening criteria
  • Operating with existing provider

Oildale - Good Samaritan Hospital
901 Olive Drive, Bakersfield
  • For Registration call (661) 215-7725
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 8 pm, Saturday 8 am - 12 pm

Ridgecrest - Ridgecrest Regional Hospital
1081 N. China Lake Blvd, Ridgecrest
  • For Registration: Text the word "testing" to 833-774-4968 Or Call 866-774-9984
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Delano - Delano Regional Medical Center
1401 Garces Hwy, Delano
  • No Drive-Thru option
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm

Kern River Valley - Kern Valley Hospital
6412 Laurel Ave, Mt Mesa Wheelchair Logo
  • For Registration call (760) 379-2681 ext 267
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Wednesday - Thursday from 7 am - 2 pm.
Tehachapi - Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley
1100 Magellan Dr 93561

Lamont - Kern County Library
8304 Segrue Road, Lamont, CA 93241
  • For registration call 661-869-6018
  • Drive-Thru and Walk-Up<
  • Testing available for ages 5+ only; parents must be present and give consent for children
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 9 am - 2 pm; Tuesday, Thursday 2 pm - 7 pm

Taft - West Side Health Care District
  • For Registration call (661) 765-1935
  • Drive-Thru<
  • TTesting available for all ages; parents must be present and give consent for children
  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm & 3 pm – 7 pm; Saturday 11 am – 3 pm