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The first death in Fresno County from the coronavirus was announced Friday afternoon by public health officials.

“The best way that we can honor this person’s legacy is to really redouble our efforts to fight this infection with what we know works.” — Dr. Rais Vohra

The county now has 100 positive cases. Twenty-eight are travel-related, 24 are community-acquired, 18 resulted from close contact, and 30 are under investigation.

The person who died was described as elderly with underlying health conditions.

“It’s obviously still a shock for our community because it is our first death here in the county,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, the county’s interim public health officer. “I want to extend our deepest sympathies for the family and commend all of the medical providers who worked very hard on that case.

“The best way that we can honor this person’s legacy is to really redouble our efforts to fight this infection with what we know works.”

Convention Center Will Become Field Hospital

With COVID-19 deaths rising in the Valley, the Fresno Convention Center will house a 250-bed field hospital site to help alleviate the strain on local hospitals.

According to a news release Friday from the Fresno County Health Department, the site is expected to include beds, medical equipment, and personal protective equipment for staff and patients.

It is intended to help nearby hospitals by receiving and treating non-COVID-19 cases referred to the site from hospitals impacted by COVID-19 positive patients. Local healthcare professionals will staff the site.

The site was approved by state officials, who previously rejected the Fresno fairgrounds as the field hospital site.

“We welcome this valuable resource that will help hospitals provide necessary care to COVID-19 patients here in Fresno and throughout our Central Valley region should the need arise,” said Fresno County  Supervisor Buddy Mendes, who is the board chairman.

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Fresno County has 94 positive cases. There are 399 people being monitored. No one in the county has died from the virus.

County Closes All Parks

Officials also said Friday that all Fresno County parks are being shuttered “to protect the health of the entire community and to promote social distancing.”

The closures are immediate and will remain in effect until further notice, county spokesman Jordan Scott said.

Madera County Reports Another COVID-19 Death

Madera County reported its second coronavirus death Friday.

“We regret to report the second death in Madera County connected to COVID-19. Our deepest condolences to their family and all of those affected,” the Madera County Health Department tweeted Friday.

The Health Department says the woman in her 70’s suffered from underlying health conditions. She died at Madera Community Hospital after she tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25. It’s believed to be a person-to-person transmission.

Madera has a total of 28 cases including 25 active, one recovered, and two deceased.

Tulare County Reports Third COVID-19 Death

The Tulare County Health Department reported a third death Friday from COVID-19. No other information was released about the case.

Tulare County has 81 positive cases, 4 recovered cases, and 3 deaths.

There are 176 people under self-quarantine and monitoring by Tulare County Public Health officials.

Second Death in Kern County

Two people have now died in Kern County from COVID-19. There have been 173 positive tests.

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