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40 percent of coronavirus tests are pending in Kern County. Public Health is not reporting that to the state.


On Kern Public Health’s new dashboard, the lines indicating case numbers make it look like we are flattening the curve. However, that is partly an illusion.

There are thousands of pending tests that could come back positive in the next few days, and therefore make the curve continue to go up.

Across the state, 7,200 tests are pending out of 280,900 tests done, according to the California Department of Public Health. That’s about 2.6 percent.

Across Kern County, 3,527 tests are pending out of 8,838 total. That’s about 40 percent.

This comparison of percentages raises the question: why are labs taking so long to come back with local results?

Public health has not offered a concrete solution to speed the testing process up.

“When it comes to the pending cases, we do our best to follow up with these facilities, but it is beholden upon them to give us these timely reports,” said Public Health’s Michelle Corson. “What we can just commit to is we will continue the ongoing dialogue that we have on a daily basis with these testing facilities.”

Public Health also says they have not been reporting local pending test numbers to the state because they’re not required to.

If Kern’s pending test count (3,527) were to be added to the state’s count (7,200), that would mean California is waiting on nearly 11,000 test results.

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