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Get Help In Kern County

In Kern County, a lot of working class people—from retail, service and gig economy workers—have lost their jobs or experienced decreased hours and wages as a result of COVID-19. And we know that thousands of essential factory, warehouse and farm workers are having to work in environments that leave them susceptible to contracting the virus. You might be worried about how to pay your rent during this crisis or whether you’ll be able to afford the essentials once the crisis is over. If you’re in this situation, we understand. Here are some resources that can help you and others in our community.

Get up-to-date public health information in Kern County. View the county’s COVID-19 dashboard

Vaccine information

Who is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Anyone working or living in San Joaquin County who is 12 or older can get the COVID-19 vaccine. Children aged 12 to 17 are only approved for the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is for people 18 and older. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine is for people 18 and older. Vaccinations for people younger than 12 will start as soon as the COVID-19 vaccines are approved for them.

How do I know if the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?

The Federal Drug and Administration (FDA) works to make sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible through careful testing. So far, the FDA has provided emergency use authorization for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines and full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Although the vaccines are new, the process for ensuring vaccine safety is not new. All vaccines must meet strict safety standards before being released to the public. Many thousands of adults of different ages and races volunteered for clinical trials to test the COVID-19 vaccines, and more than 170 million Americans are fully vaccinated. The FDA and others continue to track side effects and watch for any safety concerns.

Do I need to be a California resident to get COVID-19 vaccine?

No. Vaccine distribution is based on eligibility, not residency or immigration status.

I'm ready to get vaccinated. When and where can I make an appointment?

You can book an appointment for yourself or your child (must be 12 or older) through My Turn or by calling California’s COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255. You can also call your family doctor, local community health clinic or public health office for more information.

Testing information

I need a COVID-19 test. Where can I get one?

The county maintains an updated list and map of testing sites on its website. Sites that offer free testing are clearly labeled on the map.

Meals and food support

How can I get help with food?

The following organizations are providing free meals and/or food assistance to residents in Kern County:

  • Community Action Partnership of Kern: Call 211 for locations throughout Kern County
  • Boys and Girls Club: Meals served every day. Call (661) 663-8733.
  • Catholic Social Service Food: Call (661) 281-2130
  • CalFresh: Call (855) 832-8082 (only for U.S. citizens or parents of U.S. citizens)
  • New Life Church: Meals served every second and fourth Tuesday and Thursday of the month. Call (661) 831-2727.
  • MLK CommUnity Initiative: Meals served on the third Monday of the month at 116 E. California Ave. in Bakersfield. Call (661) 379-0670.
  • Kern High School District’s Nutrition Services Department is providing free breakfast and lunch to all children ages 2 to 18 during the school closures. Students can receive meals from any school, regardless of the district they attend. All KHSD schools will have “grab and go” sites between the hours of 11am and 1pm Monday through Friday.
  • Saturday Night Outreach: The homeless, immigrants and farmworkers can get hot meals at 999 E. California Ave. in Bakersfield. Call (661) 323-5663.

Protections for renters and homeowners

I’m worried about paying my rent or mortgage. What should I do?

The following organizations available to help:

  • California Rural Legal Assistance: Call (559) 441-8721 or (209) 946-0605
  • Central California Legal Service: (800) 325-5943
  • Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance: (661) 325-5943

Health care and mental health

What should I do if I need to see a healthcare provider?

The following resources are available in our area:

  • Department of Human Services Medi-Cal in Bakersfield: Call (661) 631-6807
  • Clinica Sierra Vista: Call (661) 328-4245
  • Kaiser Permanente: Call (661) 833-574-2273
  • Kern Family Health: Call (661) 632-1500
  • Omni Health: Call (661) 326-4585
  • Child Guidance Clinic and Adult Behavioral Health: Call (661) 332-1021
  • Feeling stressed from COVID-19? Call (559) 600-9276
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call (800) 273-8255
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 

Utilities and other essentials

I’m worried about my Internet. What should I do?

The following resources are available in our area:

  • Spectrum: (844) 488-8395
  • Internet Essentials Comcast: Free service for two months for new customers (low-income). Call (855) 846-8376 or visit InternetEssentials.com.

What about my other utilities and essentials?

The following resources are available in our area:

  • PG&E: The utility company has placed a moratorium on service disconnections. For more information, call (800) 743-5000.
  • Southern California Edison: Also suspending disconnections. Call (800) 747-8908.
  • SoCalGas: Suspending disconnections as well. Call (909) 307-7070.
  • Love Inc.: Call (661) 325-8838
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Community Action Partnership of Kern: Call 211 or (661) 336-5203.

Immigrant services

What services are available for immigrants?

The following resources are available in our area:

Support for congregations

I'm worried about my congregation. What should I do?

With event cancellations, reduced foot traffic, self-quarantining and work-from-home policies, we know that the coronavirus crisis is affecting congregations all over the place. Use this spreadsheet to find guidance on what your congregation can do to best respond during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Take these steps to help yourself
and the community

Stay at home – On March 19, the State of California issued a stay at home order, requiring all residents to remain in their dwellings except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job. Because COVID-19 is spread through contact with others, social distancing is a crucially important public health intervention that can help stop coronavirus transmission.

Buy local – Shop locally to provide businesses to coffee shops and restaurants while practicing social distancing and other precaution protocols like hand-washing and sanitizing. Many of these restaurants use delivery services like Grubhub, Ubereats, Postmates or Doordash.

If you are sick – Stay home and limit contact with others as much as possible (this includes pets). Symptoms for COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Contact your healthcare provider immediately and tell them you may have COVID-19. Also, please follow CDC recommendations.

How to wash your hands

Apply soap

Rub your palms

Rub between your fingers

Rub the back of your palm

Rinse hands

Dry using a towel

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