Fresno County jumped onto the state’s radar earlier this month when positive COVID-19 test percentages climbed above 8%.
At the time, Fresno County Department of Public Health’s Interim Health Officer Rais Vohra said, “It’s a concern.”
But, Monday numbers from the state show the county heading in a much better direction.
Over the last 14 days, Fresno County’s positive test rate is 7.4%.
To move ahead in reopening, state guidance says the county must have less than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days or less than 8% testing positive in the past seven days.
With Fresno County under 8%, Dr. Vohra is sure to talk about this with reporters at a scheduled Tuesday morning Zoom conference call.
On the State Radar
When the California Department of Health began its “targeted engagement” of Fresno County the first weekend of June, several countermeasures were triggered.
- More COVID-19 testing;
- More resources such as PPE to at-risk residents and frontline workers;
- And accommodations for those who needed to quarantine away from their families
The state pointed to outbreaks at skilled nursing facilities and at Avenal State Prison as negative drivers on Fresno County’s positive test percentage.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
On Friday, Vohra said, “We’ve also made some advances with our skilled nursing facilities and our farmworkers in terms of planning better. To protect them, to test them, and to really find out what the needs are for these very special vulnerable populations.”
Hospitalizations and ICU Numbers
Not only is Fresno County seeing improvement in positive COVID-19 cases, but ICU numbers are stable. The state reports no new ICU cases in Fresno County for the past 14 days.
The county has 104 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Only four of those are new in the past two weeks — representing a 4% increase.
In addition, 30% of the county’s ICU beds are available, as are 75% of ventilators.
“We’re trying to find some information about trends and different high-risk activities related to occupations,” said Vohra. “This is something I really wanted my team to start looking at much more closely to see — not only to track the cases that we’ve already had but also to try to prevent future cases from happening.”
To put Fresno County’s numbers into perspective, it helps to look at the overall statewide statistics.
Over the last 14 days, the state has a 4.8% test positivity rate. The state’s 111 new ICU cases over the last two weeks represent an 8.5% increase.
The state has 38% of ICU beds available, and 75% of ventilators available.
As the fall semester draws closer each day, more sports programs are at the beginning stages of planning if and how to field teams.
“I’m working very hard with my team to create sports guidance that will help keep people safe and give them good instructions about how to protect one another,” Vohra said.