Tulare County health officials to bring testing to rural communities like Allensworth

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tulare County health authorities say they are working to address one of their biggest COVID-19 concerns: the spread of the virus in small, isolated communities.

As a community advocate and president of the local school board, Kayode Kadara knows the global pandemic is hurting the small town he calls home.

It's unclear just how many of his fellow residents in Allensworth have tested positive for COVID-19, but data shows there have been more than 400 in the southwest corner of Tulare County since March.

"We know we have a problem," Kadara said. "We don't know the extent of that problem yet. But hopefully with this process that we're going through that the county is supporting us with, we'll have a way to figure out who is affected, how we need to address that..."

Kadara is referring to a new partnership with the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency, which will work with local healthcare providers to bring mobile testing sites to Allensworth and then Earlimart.

"We still have areas that we need to get testing out in these rural communities to the people because we're finding residents may not have the means to transport or commute into other areas where a testing site is located," Tulare County HHSA Public Information Officer Carrie Monteiro said.

"People can walk to a testing site if it's within (a) small community like ours as opposed to expecting those people that have been out to the fields (to) turn around and go back out," Kadara said, noting some would probably carpool, which would violate social distancing rules.

Dates for the mobile testing events are still being finalized, but Kadara says residents of Allensworth have already been notified that help is on the way.

While offering testing, the county also plans to provide residents information about COVID-19 and educate them about how to stop the spread of the disease.

"Because we also understand that these residents may not have internet access or some of the technology to access the communications that we've been sending," Monteiro said.
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