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Couch's Corner: Bringing hope to our communities

With special thanks to so many who have worked to get the vaccines out throughout Kern County and in particular, District 4, this week I am pleased to announce a couple more hard-to-reach District 4 communities will be able to get their vaccine shots this week.

On Friday, the community of Lost Hills had a vaccine clinic at Wonderful Park from 5 to 7 p.m. Vaccines are limited so please call to make an appointment. Walk-ups are welcome as supply allows. Special thanks to the West Side Health District and the Wonderful Company for bringing this to the often-underserved Lost Hills community. And better yet, I am also pleased that another hard-to-reach community, Buttonwillow, has been invited to participate at this event as well.

It’s just another step toward our pandemic recovery, getting the vaccines out to those next in line as soon as supplies become available. Our approach recognizes that not everyone can get the vaccine in the same way. I’m thankful to Hernan Hernandez and the California Farmworkers Foundation for getting the vaccines to our farmworkers where they work, in the fields and at the processing plants. With help from the county and the state, the Latino Task Force has been out and about educating the public and getting vaccines to communities throughout District 4 and the entire county. In Delano, special thanks to Adventist Health for making shots available to the Delano and McFarland communities. And I am grateful for the county staff and our Public Health Department for their approach and strategies in dealing with the pandemic from the beginning. And to all those not mentioned, all of us working as a team have been critical to getting the vaccines out and to finally moving forward with our lives and our economy.

Now, we still don’t have enough vaccines for everybody, and appointments are necessary, so if your from Lost Hills or Buttonwillow, call 661-765-1935 to set up your appointment. If you are in Phase 1a, 1b, or 1c, you qualify to get your vaccination now. Phase 1a is for health care workers and long-term care facility residents; phase 1b is for individuals over 65 and education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture workers; and phase 1c is for adults 16-64 with severe health conditions, people with severe disabilities or illnesses, people who live in congregate residential settings, and those who work in public transit.

It’s been a year since this pandemic changed our lives, but there’s reason to feel good about where we are right now and our prospects for a strong recovery. Let’s continue to take the protective measures that help keep everyone safe as we get our schools reopened and our businesses up and running at full speed. And as the doors open to our favorite restaurants and entertainment venues, let’s remember that as we support these activities and purchase their goods, we are helping the entire community get back on their feet.

Again, I am so pleased that in working with West Side Family Health we were able to make this happen. It’s part of my commitment to the District 4 communities to serve you, to show up in your neighborhoods and to bring to you the county services you need to live and prosper in Kern County. And now, with the recovery imminent, let’s prepare for the next chapter, a good chapter, I hope.

Buttonwillow, Lost Hills, it’s your turn to get your vaccines! Next week, another community, until we’re done. If you have any questions about this or any District 4 matter, don’t hesitate to call at 661-868-3680 or email us at district4@kerncounty.com. Have a safe week.

David Couch represents Kern County’s 4th District.