The absence of magazines, toys and other people in the waiting room might come as a shock to some patients, but that won't be their first indication that the coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the experience of going to see a dentist.

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If you missed the sounds of weights hitting the ground, the stinky smell of sweat and the feeling of pure adrenaline and strength, Kern County's latest reopening stage has brought back a comfort for many: fitness facilities.

Clinica Sierra Vista announced the expansion of COVID-19 testing at its locations in Kern and Fresno counties with the Abbott’s ID NOW COVID-19 molecular point-of-care test that can deliver accurate results in 13 minutes or less.

In another sign of turbulence atop one of Kern County's most vital health care providers, a former senior official at Clinica Sierra Vista has sent a letter to its board of directors requesting an explanation for events surrounding the abrupt departure of former CEO Brian Harris on April 23.

Two of Kern's most prominent health-care providers said Monday they are looking to make greater use of telemedicine, joining a national acceleration in the use of videoconferencing to connect doctors and patients without unnecessary risks of infection during the pandemic.

Hospitals and medical clinics across Kern County are setting up triage tents, stocking up on medical supplies and drawing up various contingencies in preparation for the possibility — some say likelihood — of a local surge in COVID-19 cases in coming weeks.

Kern County government declared Monday it has plenty of the surgical masks and other protective medical gear now in short supply around the country, even as local clinics say they are beginning to run low amid heightened demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Two important changes — one a proverbial carrot, the other a stick — have been introduced to Covered California ahead of Friday’s deadline for getting health insurance through the Golden State’s version of Obamacare.