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Adventist Health | Bakersfield, Tehachapi, Delano

Thousands of COVID-19 test results in Kern County remain unknown


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Thousands of coronavirus test have not been processed in Kern County meaning people currently with the disease may not know they have it for several days, or even weeks.

Since testing picked up in Kern County three weeks ago, hundreds are getting tested for COVID-19, but the results are trickling in forming a massive backlog in the county.

As of Thursday afternoon, the county says there are 2,386 pending test results.

Gov. Gavin Newsom called for faster processing for tests in the state. On Saturday, he announced the state was able to shrink its backlog by two-thirds, but in Kern, the number continues to rise and that could change as more cases are reported.

The most populated areas of the state are considered hot spots where the virus is spreading fast.

Health officials are trying to process tests as fast as possible for those areas.

On 17 News at Sunrise, Dr. Hemmal Kothary warned the county was few weeks behind areas like Los Angeles, which means Kern County could become a hot spot soon.

“I hope we can get plenty of tests, I know the Adventist Health hospital is starting to do tests now,” Kothary said.

“We have a hospital in Stockton and that does testing and we have a carrier to test up there for our in patient at Dignity hospitals. We’re hoping to get our own tests in Bakersfield so as we begin to take a hot spot we will see more tests become available which becomes more results will be coming in faster.”

As cases are reported by the county, the numbers spike. But on some days, only a few cases are reported.

For example 438 tests were processed Wednesday with 42 of them coming up positive. On Sunday, 82 tests were processed with 20 of them coming up positive.

Kothary also reiterated the importance of quarantining if you think you may have symptoms or if you are awaiting test results.

For everyone else, Kothary said we need to continue to stay at home to stop the spread.

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