A task force has been formed that aims to provide outreach, education and awareness on COVID-19 to the Latino community, which has been disproportionately impacted by the virus.

The Latino COVID-19 Taskforce was co-founded by Jay Tamsi, attorneys H.A. Sala and David A. Torres, as well as Matt Constantine, director of the Kern County Public Health Services Department. The coalition will consist of at least 28 members from different industries throughout Kern County, with many of them being “prominent leaders” in the Latino community, according to Tamsi, who is serving as the project manager.

“The concept came up and it’s much needed as we see the numbers increasing in Kern County,” Tamsi said. “We’re going to have leadership from the members of our task force who are very adamant about lessening the curve.”

As of Friday, Latinos make up 36.6 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Kern County, with 10,594 of all 26,961 positive cases. However, the cases of unknown race make up over 50 percent of the county’s numbers at 14,498.

When the unknown race cases are removed, Latinos make up a startling 73 percent of cases in which the race is known. This is about a 2 percent increase compared to when the numbers were last reported by The Californian on Aug. 1.

On Aug. 12, the ACLU of Northern California sent a letter to the Kern County Board of Supervisors expressing its concern about COVID-19 disparities it was seeing across the state. In the letter, the ACLU recommended the creation of a COVID-19 ethnic and racial disparity task force.

Tamsi said the task force consists of subcommittees that will target specific pockets of Kern County’s Latino population that include job sectors, age groups and location. The task force will utilize outlets such as flyers, social media, television and radio to help get the message across in both Spanish and English.

Kern County Board of Supervisors chairwoman Leticia Perez will serve as a chairwoman of the task force. She explained her role as helping the committee understand what resources are available to them through county government.

“A lot of people don’t know how government works,” Perez said. “We’re coming as government experts to help the task force navigate the resources in place.”

She said she also intends to use her credibility throughout east Bakersfield and the Latino community to help get messages across more effectively.

Sala referenced two recent CDC studies that served as inspirations behind the task force. He said one study confirmed that the Latino population was suffering a “significant” disproportionate impact in contracting COVID-19 as well as another that revealed that Latino children had higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations compared to other minority populations.

“That was alarming to us so we developed this task force that is unprecedented because there is no other task force like this in the state to address this disparity,” Sala said.

Sala explained that both his and Torres’ high school daughters will take a leading role in the task force at educating young people on COVID-19 awareness through social media.

“We see too often youngsters behaving in reckless behaviors,” Sala said. “These youngsters are gathering together in the fall for various things either if it’s sanctioned by their school or just private parties because they believe they’re not going to get the virus or are not going to get symptoms if they do.”

Torres said that due to his work in the legal profession, he studies COVID-19 often due to the fact he is around sometimes “hundreds” of people in a courthouse, he said. He said he wants to remind people why the current state of the world involves so much social distancing and requires masks.

“Unless people heed the warnings and wear masks and are social distancing, it shouldn't be that bad. But it can easily get worse than better,” Torres said. “People become complacent after time; people are going to let their guard down.”

Other task force members include Teresa Romero, president of the United Farm Workers, Michelle Corson, of the public health department, and Tim Calahan, director of public relations and community development at Clinica Sierra Vista.

Tamsi also said there will be an emphasis on mental health through their community engagement, with the help of Clinica Sierra Vista.

“One area we haven’t seen progress in is mental health outreach,” Tamsi said. “Not only to COVID-19 patients, but to essential workers who work all day and aren’t able to go to a restaurant or go out of town because they have to return back to work and don’t want to get anyone sick.”

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(27) comments

fas933

Let's address the elephant in the very crowded living room. Respectfully, Hispanic families overwhelmingly live in 2 to 3 generation households. More than other ethnic family groups. They are unable to self quarantine for 14 days due to this dynamic. Because of this this type of living arrangement, the Covid numbers will not go down soon.

Masked 2020

Lots of NastyWhite folks down in this RabbitHole... burning thier TikiTorchesOnHi....its blinding.... Vote Biden-Harris 2020

WorriedAboutSafety

Kern County will never get out of the purple zone if this demographic is not effectively addressed.

carolair

I have been asking for weeks why is the percentage of people with unknown race/ethnicity so high!!!!

She Dee

At least these people are giving it a shot to educate the people of their race. The % of whites who speak Spanish obviously isn't cutting it. Perhaps this is why the process of "getting the word out" is so slow in the Latino Communities. That's my take. I commend anyone who is doing something of value for their fellow humans.

Lilyrose

She Dee:. They know. It's not a mystery. However, there's money to be made to "educate".

The Hispanic community is highly aware of this disease, but.....the concern isn't there.

In addition, doesn't help when the working environment for many isn't very hygienic. It doesn't help when daily personal hygiene is less than optimal. When large groups gather to swim in dirty lakes, eat in bulk, leave trash splattered everywhere and have not one source of clean running water.

Never thought this happened in u.s. It does and it leads to cases transmitted similarly to, say Brazil.

Community leaders and paid activist know exactly where they need to go to make the most effective changes. However it's not very glamorous.

She Dee

Well Lilyrose, I think your words speak volumes & I wouldn't try to sway your hardcore ideology because people who think as you do are a big part of the problem. Why wait for someone to "lead", when you can take a personal lead and take a trashbag with you to give an assist to clean up your town one street at a time. I am disabled & even I can put wayward trash in a bag and dispose of it properly. I don't blame an entire race of people and it saddens me that this is what is happening in so many towns these days. Ever had a job in the agriculture industry? It gives you a different perspective on life and enlightenment.

Lilyrose

She Dee:. This article was about high cases of covid within a certain population. Many factors cause this, but when it's openly available to see/ witness then maybe those problems should be addressed. Not from an office, but out in the "real world".

I'm not a political figure or a paid lobbyist. I'm not a figurehead for that population. But in the article those people are.

Trash will be cleaned up, but disease will continue to spread. Keeping you and me and everyone else in Kern county in position of " waiting".

And let me conclude, with agriculture. You asked if I ever had a job in ag. Hummmm.....I'll just simply say yep.

Lilyrose

Leticia Perez & ACLU members, go to Hart and Ming park each weekend and walk the talk. It would be free for taxpayers. Because the fact is Everyone knows what to do, but don't care.

That entire public area is trashed and the natural surroundings disregarded. Masks? Hygiene? ACLU, don't make more excuses for filthy behavior. Fight for a real cause.

Mrknowitall

Lily rose. What a clean & fresh SOUNDING name. But are u not the formerly homeless savage? Can only imagine the hygiene practices implemented by you in those conditions. 😂 😂 😂

Oh but now you wanna toss stones from yer fragile glass house. Typical. Savages always seek someone if class of people to look down upon— hoping to believe arhat somehow the savage is “better “. NewsFlash: yer not. 😂 😂 😂 ANYone who would allow themselves to be degraded into homeless stays has their wig loose. How ignorant: ummm I think I’ll make choices that result in no roof over my head. Yeah. That’s the poster I’m interested in their opinion. Imagine The Breath during those times. Hecht!!! Such habits are documented to have continued upon re-entering the mainstream. Breath -mint instant disintegration. Instantaneous funkyconbustion.

Try washing yer hair and other regions. Don’t want folks smelling ya coming; right? 😂

She Dee

Lilyrose- I wonder if you will also be putting the blame on the Caucasian race for the downturn of Hart Park. It started many years ago when the good people of Bakersfield starting dumping off their stray cats and it turned into a breeding farm. Then the non maintenance of the old kiddie train track and water wheel added insult to injury and half the town still went there to dump off their cats and others they could catch because the Animal (Pound) Control was charging $20 per cat apx 15 years ago.

patraps

This is a community population that I see daily congregated in outdoor seating restaurants and in stores together not masking. What do you expect? What happened to the Chamber of Commerce billboard campaign to educate this communities Latino population? And so it is.

Mrknowitall

Yeah. I see that community population of which you speak. The unwashed oilfield Good Old Boyz. Bred fresh from Oklahoma/Arkansas Dust Bowl. Now that is a chemistry that will have historians scratching their heads far into the next century. True

Mrknowitall

True Caveman throwbacks KC Good Old Boyz. Congregating like heathens—no distancing at Luigi’s and any watering hole that will have them. Back-slapping n guffaws. Breathing and coughing and spreading virus with gusto! Cowboy UP! Yup. ANd indoor seating —since KC is a no-enforcement count—thanks Donny— they just burb and spread with impunity. Science?! Duh. Whatt is that?! Yup. Go home drunk driving and spread to wife n kids—who have been out spreading in their own circles. The circle of death. Good job!!

alexkelley

This is pure racist hypocrisy.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

I called for this MONTHS ago and was called a racist for doing so.

I'll gladly accept apologies from those accusers- Moardeeb, you can be first...

proto

Anybody know why a whopping 50% are classified as unknown race?

Veritas

The news media blames it on the health care providers who report this information to the health departments. Seems disingenuous...

Zeppo

Yes, you did! No one apologizes these days, though........sad.

Mrknowitall

I called KC the #1 prospect to lead in Calif infections. Months and months ago. How do you like TZhEM apples? Genie & friends scoffed. He who laughs last, laughs best. Ha-ha-ha!

As far as this “Task Force”. What a joke 2 high school girls will “lead” the social media and youth effort. Yeah. That’s promising. Lol. Oh. And they are related to the main dudes?! Surprise. Not!

Then you got Matt “I ‘’ confused by the state directives” Consadine. He fiddled whilst KC burned. Some people say all he looks out for are the business folks—even though his job is to be an advocate for ALL the people. KC is a non-enforcement County. Oklahoma-Arkansas Dust Bowl mentality—science-adverse. So instead of harnessing enforcement advocates and resources to drive enforcement—gatherings-mask-ignorant-businesses operating in a risky fashion — which masks-distancing-washing hands-increase testing with a track & trace program are the ONLY things science says will drop infection rates. Nd lower hospitalizations and deaths. So spare me the Bali net.

It’s been seven months. EVERYone knew it was disproportionate to Mjmorities—/ and NOW—7 brutal months later ya bring up some half-baked smells-like-self-promotion “TaskForce”? And L Perez boasts of utilizing her “credibility “? Some people say she was just mired in a scandal.

And Cinszdine? Lol. Yeah. Like he goes to sleep at night worried about Hispanics. 😂 😂 😂 This town yup it’s a town cuzz it for sure is no city— is a study in the art of living backwards.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@MrKnowNothingAtAll:

I scoffed at your 10,000+ dead claim, which you made on numerous occasions and wrote nothing regarding in response to this "KC the #1 prospect" that you laud now.

So tell me omniscient one, now that I've brought up your 10,000+ death claim multiple times (since you want to give yourself "credit' for KC being #1), why won't you admit where you were wrong?

Also, the fact you wrote "He who laughs last, laughs best. Ha-ha-ha!" shows what a sick mind you actually have. Your neighbors are sick and dying- do you really find this whole thing humorous?

I'm sure you'll go ahead and continue to cherry pick one item from the many you claim to have "said", so just remember Professor, even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally...

#MIT

Mrknowitall

I’m like yer Daddy, Jean Pool: Trump. We are NEVER wrong. 😂 😂 😂. But I dig you begging me to consider it—that has me ROTFL!! I told you that the savages in Kern—oilfield uneducated and unsophisticated would doom the city back when there were like 50 cases. You may call me “The Oracle” or O’Wise One or simply... Daddy.

Diss genius to cheer on wig man aka FatBoy Red ginning up the spread... then point to me cuzz I’m amused by his feeble-minded flock. Hey. How ‘bout that Jerry Falwell... yer evangelicals wife sharing. How generous. And his side-kick FatBoy Red bringing all man set of disease home to the White House from adult film actresses! Yeah. That’s a moral compass you can navigate by! 😂 😂 😂

Son. I do consider you as one of my children Jeannie. I’m now engaged overseas at Oxford... seems they needed an unsolvable problem solved and they tracked me down. Alas. I do what I can for the benefit of the little people.

Gene-Gene... you been roasted by The Godfather. U playing checkers whilst I snap-crack the Queen. Checkmate heathens.

Veritas

Wow GPC, I think Mrlostitall has a man-crush on you. Also, he is now needed by Oxford? What’s that little clock that has a bird pop at the top of every hour..... LOL

Mrknowitall

I know it’s eating you up inside. Gene Pool/CessPool. Everyone reading these posts knows it too. That tickles me. 😂 😂 😂

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@MrKnowNothingAtAll:

LOTS OF BLOVIATING, but you still won't answer my question.

Seems like you don't know it all, but then again, the readers here have known that for quite some time.

Tell me about how you determined we'd have over 10,000 dead here- c'mon man- enlighten me! LOL

Maybe that's why you didn't go into the PhD program at MIT???

Mrknowitall

I do the questioning. That’s how the world works. The enlightened question the underlings. When you are always correct—as am I —THEN-/ and only then, may you endeavor to interrogate the interrogator. Ok. Protocols in place. Back into your land insolent one. Nice try. You are I’ll-equipped to attempt to usurp my standing here and in all I survey. My superior intellect, knowledge, wisdom, and wit appeals to the masses. The fact that I only post thoroughly researched infirmary adds to my impeccable credibility.

I have studied at the most hallowed learning institutions of the world. Jealous of that I see. Obvious by the weak jabs attempted. Tsk. Tsk.

I noticed you were struck dumb (dumber than usual) by the wool being pulled over your collective eyes by the minorities infiltrating your families and getting access to your funds, connections, holidays—by virtue of courting KC’s daughters—and Also provoked lasses throughout America. Quincy, Othell, Rigoberto, and Pablo working them gals and getting ACCESS to $$$ superior schools, and cars and homes! 😂. And the FatBoy Red followers can do zero-zip-nada to stop the intermingling of the “classes”, as it were. Your silence betrays the fact that YOU Genie have personally fell victim to The Game. Meet the innocent girl. Ply them with rap music and Bad Boy charm. Then reap the benefits. Make babies which activated access to daddy’s money, credit, and connections. Ching Ching!!!

Pay that car not fo em. And dat house note whilst you at it. And don’t be tardy or you won’t see the baby no mo. 😂 😂. Gramma ain’t having it. She loves daughter and melts over grand baby—no matter what color. 😂. Then it’s turkey and ham at da holidays. Liquor. And help paying those pesky little (and big) bills. Ha-ha. Then it serves as an example fir all in Otis’s circle. Hmmm Gotta score me one of dem privileged chicks. Makes life muuuuuuch easier. And guaranteed cash in yo pocket. Yup. I see it every day. It cannot be stopped. It’s like a rash. Or a virus. But daughter in love. So u stuck. Stuck. Torpedoed by the very “community” you loathed. Now ya gotta support it cuzz it’s “family”.

I cannot tell you how much this pickle y’all are in tickles me. Yup Jeannie Pool:: Karma is really something, ain’t it? Let’s discuss THIS. How’d ya like dem apples? 😂 😂 😂

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@MrKnowNothingAtAll:

Your shtick is getting old.

Continued disheveled musings from a brain obviously clouded with opiates, while creating a fictional alter ego was fun for a while, now it's gotten old, boring and predictable.

And you STILL won't answer the question because YOU HAVE NO ANSWER! You're the one exploiting dumb luck, just like the once-in-a-lifetime Lotto winner; although in this instance, you end up with nothing but the laughter of everyone here at your continuing drug-addled posts, which get more and more barmy as they continue...

#MIT

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