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COVID-19 Spike Puts Fresno County on State's Radar
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By Jim Jakobs, Digital Producer
Published 4 years ago on
June 9, 2020

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The California Department of Public Health is paying extra attention to Fresno County after a spike in coronavirus cases.

Dr. Rais Vohra said Fresno County’s doubling rate of the disease is now two weeks. It was three weeks not long ago.

Fresno County Department of Public Health’s Interim Health Officer Rais Vohra announced the development to reporters during a Monday afternoon Zoom call.

“We’ve actually come to the attention of the state because our positivity rate has gone above 8%. That’s the threshold underneath where we need to stay at,” Vohra said.

Vohra also says Fresno County’s doubling rate of the disease is now two weeks. It was three weeks not long ago.

GV Wire asked Vohra if there’s any fear we may not be able to open more areas of the county on Friday when phase 3 can begin. His response: “It’s a concern.”

[covid-19-tracker]

California Department of Public Health

Vohra says he believes this is a positive development because he can seek additional coronavirus help from the state.

This could include:

  • More COVID-19 testing
  • More resources such as PPE to at-risk residents and frontline workers
  • Accommodations for those that need to quarantine away from their families

According to the CDPH website, “Fresno County (has variance) is experiencing elevated disease transmission. A driver of this are outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and the impact of the Avenal state prison outbreak on staff who live in surrounding counties.”

Other Valley Counties

Several other San Joaquin Valley counties are on the state’s watch list:

Kings County (has variance) is experiencing elevated disease transmission, increasing hospitalizations, and limited hospital capacity. Drivers of this include county experiencing outbreaks at Avenal State prison within their jurisdiction, resulting in secondary infection to staff working within the central and satellite kitchens; outbreak at local Adventist Health (AH) admitting COVID positive patients from Tulare, Reedley, and skilled nursing facility outbreaks. Key actions to address concerns include 1) coordination and communication between local health department, CDPH, and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to mitigate outbreak at Avenal State Prison; 2) order needed resources through the Standardized Emergency Management System such as oxygen concentrators, health care staff, testing kits, and PPEs; 3) continue to engage with skilled nursing facilities on infection control measures.

Tulare County (has variance) is experiencing elevated disease transmission. Drivers of this include outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities and work places and barriers to preventing transmission within households.  Increased hospitalizations and ICU utilization have been related to multiple conditions other than COVID19.  Key action areas to address concerns include:  1) continue to engage with skilled nursing facilities and businesses and with ongoing collaboration with Licensing and Certification and the HAI program;  2) continue to enhance contact tracing and; 3) continue public messaging through multiple mediums about actions to prevent community transmission.

San Joaquin County (has variance) is experiencing increasing hospitalization and limited hospital capacity. Drivers of this include 1) community transmission due to gatherings, 2) workplace transmission followed by household transmission; 3) skilled nursing facility (SNF) outbreaks; and 4) increase in widespread testing. Action steps to address concerns include: 1) increase public messaging on the importance of personal protection measures and the risks involved with mass gatherings in multiple languages; 2) continuing to provide Infection Preventionists expertise to assist SNFs on infection control practices, ensure baseline testing and proper use of personal protection equipment (PPE).

 

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