Fresno County Public Health officials reported three new positive cases of COVID-19 at a news conference Friday afternoon.

“The jump from three to six I don’t think is statistically significant. I think it is an indicator that we are seeing more spread of the community throughout the Central Valley.” — David Pomaville, director of public health for Fresno County 

Two of the cases are a young couple returning from a cruise; the third is an elderly person who contracted the coronavirus while visiting a relative in the Bay Area.

All three are in stable condition and expected to recover, officials said.

The latest cases raise the total of positive coronavirus tests in Fresno County to six. No county resident has died from the virus.

Isolation over Testing

“The jump from three to six I don’t think is statistically significant,” said David Pomaville, who is director of public health for Fresno County. “I think it is an indicator that we are seeing more spread of the community throughout the Central Valley.”

Public health officials also recommended isolation over testing as the best way to combat the virus.

“Isolation is much more important. The social distancing, all of these things that we’re being asked to do is really just to make sure that people don’t share their germs,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, the county’s interim health director.

Vohra also recommended isolation in your home, even from family when symptoms appear.

“The minute that you get sick, you have to retreat to an area where you’re absolutely not interacting with other people because we don’t want you to pass it on,” Vohra said.

Photo of Dr. Rais Vohra speaking at a news conference

Dr. Rais Vohra speaks at a news conference on March 20, 2020. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

Public Health Tests Up to 300

Pomaville said that between 200 and 300 tests have been issued by either his department or reported to them through a lab.

There are countless other tests administered privately that Pomaville said he did not have numbers on.

Pomaville said there are enough kits to tests those whom the public health department considers in a priority group.

“While (tests) are not in ample supply, we have enough of those around to do the priority testing that we are asking providers to do,” Pomaville said.

The bottleneck, according to Pomaville, is getting the test results from the lab.

“Sometimes we’ll get quick results back and other times it’s taking four to seven days,” Pomaville said.

Priority for Testing

Vohra said the county is following CDC recommendations on determining the priority for COVID-19 testing.

“First of all, the person should be symptomatic, meaning that they have a fever and evidence of respiratory problems like a cough or bronchitis, those kinds of symptoms,” he said.

“Second, they should also have a history of high risk related to either travel from a different country or different area that has a lot of cases or they’ve been around someone that has a confirmed COVID infection.

“And third of all, they should also have a high risk of passing it on into the community. So that means people that are in the healthcare system or what we call a service sector that deals with vulnerable populations,” Vohra said.

That includes first-responders, Vohra said.

Coronavirus in Other Valley Counties

The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Tulare County rose to seven Thursday. Tulare County’s latest cases include a person between the ages of 18 and 24 with an unknown source of contact with the coronavirus. The other is an individual between 25 and 40 years old who contracted the virus while traveling.

The new cases come on top of two others announced Wednesday by the Tulare County Health Department. One patient is an adult between 18 and 25 while the other is over 65 years old.

“Our community should understand that we are at a higher level of risk and they should take precautions wherever you go,” the Tulare County Public Health office said in a news release Thursday.

Madera County has three confirmed COVID-19 cases, but one of the individuals has recovered, officials said.

Kings and Mariposa counties have reported no positive tests.

But, according to officials in Merced County, a Merced public safety employee has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual is quarantined at home.

The Kern County Department of Health has confirmed four COVID-19 positives. A visitor to Kern also tested positive for the virus earlier this week.

Kern health officials said Thursday they are investigating the circumstances of the latest case and any contacts the person might have had.


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