OROVILLE, Calif. -- Butte County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Bernstein sat down with Action News Now to discuss the pandemic and introduce himself.
Dr. Bernstein comes to us from Tuolumne county where he also served as the health officer for two years.
“My hope is that as the health officer, I can work with stakeholders and partners to ensure the safety and health to all of Butte County. I am especially concerned about what will take place when a demonstrably, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine becomes available,” said Dr. Bernstein.
Bernstein has also worked in many different countries with the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and UNICEF to name a few.
Action News Now asked him his thoughts on how Butte County is handling the pandemic.
“As far as I can tell and Dr. Fauci and others at the CDC, and State of California, we can all say that we’re not testing enough, but the problem is logistical, the problem is that the test facilities and the accessibility of the test is just not as great as we would like to have it,” said Dr. Bernstein.
Dr. Bernstein also notes that testing on essential workers, people who are ill and people who are in contact with the above get priority testing, just like the rest of the nation.
As for his thoughts on a COVID-19 vaccine.
“There are now several hundred vaccine candidates being tested. The NIH is supporting the testing of candidates, but it is unlikely that a safe and effective vaccine, in my opinion will be available before the early part of next year, at the earliest,” said Dr. Bernstein.