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Clinica Sierra Vista Announces Expanded COVID-19 Testing

  • Category: Covid-19
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covid-19 testing machineBAKERSFIELD, CA June 9th–Clinica Sierra Vista is proud to announce the expansion of COVID-19 testing at our locations in Kern and Fresno counties. Clinica Sierra Vista is now offering Abbott’s ID NOW™ COVID-19 molecular point-of-care test that can deliver accurate results in 13 minutes or less.
This testing technology allows Clinica Sierra Vista to become one of the only Federally Qualified Community Health Centers in the state of California to offer such services. Currently, Clinica Sierra Vista has Abbott ID NOW instruments strategically placed at locations in the central valley which are experiencing an influx of COVID-19 testing requests, and clinic locations with higher than normal patient visits.
Tuesday’s announcement is an example of Clinica’s strong support from both public and private partnerships in the central valley and across the nation. “Clinica Sierra Vista’s expanded capacity to now test for COVID-19 and deliver results in a matter of minutes is welcome news in our community,” said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. “I applaud the organization’s efforts to ensure that some of our most vulnerable neighbors in Kern County and the Central Valley have access to reliable, accurate, and timely coronavirus testing.”
The Abbott ID NOW delivers COVID-19 results in record time, a positive result may be detected in as little as 5 minutes. A negative result can be delivered in as little as 13 minutes. Using this type of testing technology also reduces the type of personal protective gear needed to be worn by clinic staff. The chance for airborne droplets to be produced by a patient receiving a point-of-care test is significantly less due to the method in which the sample is collected. “We’re pleased to bring our rapid testing technology to the people of the central valley and with such an important community health provider in Clinica Sierra Vista,” said Philip Ginsburg, M.D., Senior Medical Director, Infectious Diseases, Abbott. “This essential frontline tool is providing healthcare workers and patients with results that make a real-time impact and help reduce the risk of people contracting the virus.”

According to research from The COVID Tracking Project, Hispanic or Latinos make up 55% of all diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the state of California, and account for 38% of all deaths where ethnicity was recorded. On average according to the CDC black Americans are dying due to COVID-19 at twice the rate of white Americans, that rate is 50% higher for Latinos, this even though black and Latino people make up just 30% of the U.S. population.
In Kern County 64% of all COVID-19 cases involve Hispanic residents, and in Fresno County Hispanic residents are infected at twice the rate of white or African American residents, according to data from County Public Health. Nearly 60% of patients receiving primary care through Clinica Sierra Vista are Latino, some are in elevated risk categories that disproportionately affect health outcomes should they contract COVID-19.
With the ability to increase testing capabilities at Clinica Sierra Vista we can address racial heath disparities that put our immigrant and minority communities at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 and experiencing serious complications. Our providers are seeing higher rates of COVID-19 in essential workforces, and multigenerational households. That is why targeted widespread testing and contact tracing is critical to support our vulnerable communities. “This is a big win for the central valley and furthers our goal of testing more patients in vulnerable communities while contributing to the success of reopening our state and local counties,” said Tim Calahan Director of Public Relations for Clinica Sierra Vista. “We have been working tirelessly since the COVID-19 crisis began to bring this technology to the central valley, we know this will significantly increase our ability to diagnose and contact trace, which we know directly affects the state’s ability to move forward into new phases of reopening.”
In the coming weeks Clinica Sierra Vista will announce criteria to receive an Abbott ID NOW point-of-care test, as well as the specific locations where the test will be made available.