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The Fresno County Health Department says there are now 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county. Of those cases, 6 are travel related, 2 are person to person, and 10 are under investigation.

In a late afternoon conference call with reporters, health officials said there is no identified community spread so far but the risk to the general public is real.

Signs are ‘Ominous’ for Uptick in Cases

Fresno County is several days or perhaps a week behind other cities like those in the Bay Area in terms of impact from the virus, they said. Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said signs are  “ominous” that an uptick in county cases is on the horizon.

The health department is looking ahead to when businesses begin re-opening and is developing a strategy for “mitigating” further spread of the virus. Possible steps include requiring businesses to screen returning employees with temperature checks and other procedures at the workplace.

Officials did not indicate a time frame for when closed businesses would be allowed to reopen.

Testing Kits Still Limited

Public health director David Pomaville said his department has about 200 COVID-19 test kits on hand. More tests will become available to medical providers in the coming weeks, Pomaville said.

County officials are asking hospitals to conserve their supplies. In the coming days, the county expects to open up donation areas for the public to drop off needed items, like masks and gloves. If a member of the general public has medical supplies, unopened, and in good condition, they can drop them off at the front counter of the health department in downtown Fresno.

Medical Supply Donations Being Accepted

Valley Children’s Hospital is also accepting donations. They’re asking for commercial products, and donations must be in unopened, original packaging and in accordance with approved hospital standards. Requested donation categories include:

  • Masks (N95, surgical, and procedure)
  • Disinfecting wipes such as Clorox or Sani-cloth wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Face shields
  • Goggles and eye shields
  • Isolation or surgical gowns
  • CAPR/PAPR machines and disposables

The hospital said donors should not drop off supplies at the hospital. Instead, donations can be delivered in person to Valley Children’s Hospital Professional Center, 9300 Valley Children’s Place, in Madera. Deliveries are being accepted Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The Professional Center is located on the west side of the hospital campus.

Signs are posted directing donors to the location. Hospital staff will meet vehicles outside to accept their items.

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