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Fresno’s Top Doc: Chance of Fresno County Sliding Back Into the Purple Tier This Week is ‘High’



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The business community is paying very close attention to the latest COVID-19 numbers because Fresno county is on the verge of slipping back into the most restrictive purple tier in the state’s ‘Blueprint for a Safer Economy‘.

During a Friday afternoon Zoom call with reporters, Fresno county interim Health Officer Rais Vohra was asked by GV Wire℠ what the chances are of the county falling back into purple when the state releases new numbers on Tuesday.

“I think they’re high,” says Vohra. “I’m very concerned.”

Places like movie theaters, houses of worship, and indoor dining could all be impacted as early as Friday of next week.

According to the latest state data, Fresno County has a 5.3% test positivity rate (up from 4.8% last week), and 7.2 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 6.3 last week). To stay in its current “red” tier, Fresno County numbers need to continue to have less than an 8% test positivity rate and reduce new cases per 100,000 residents to less than 7 over the next week.

Purple Tier Likely

Dr. Rais Vohra, Fresno County interim health officer

“I think they’re high. I’m very concerned.”Fresno county interim Health Officer Rais Vohra on county’s chances of sliding back into the purple tier next week

“If we’re in the purple, we’re in the purple. We really need to do what it takes to reduce transmission – and not just game the numbers,” explains Vohra. “But on the other hand, if we don’t do enough testing, then they (the state) actually adjusts our case rate upwards.”

In a nutshell, if the county does more testing, the state actually gives some credit towards the case positivity and case rate numbers.

Vohra says we have so much testing available it’s inexcusable for Fresno County to be docked by the state for not doing enough testing. He says his office sent out an email Friday to all their primary care providers explaining the situation and asking them to think about ways to expand testing.

Friday, Vohra signed a health officer order to require all primary care doctors in the county to offer COVID-19 testing in the hopes of boosting the amount of daily testing being done.

City Enforcement and Education

The Fresno City Council is taking an aggressive approach when it comes to violators of the state’s mandates.

“We will fine egregious violators so they don’t put everyone else at risk,” says City Councilman Miguel Arias.

Arias says the council discussed this at their meeting last week when the county entered the red tier. The council voted 6-1 to continue educating the local business community about the various ways to keep their business, employees, and customers safe.

The city will respond to complaints before sending out code enforcement officers to issue a warning before fines.

Fresno County’s Latest COVID-19 Data

According to the county’s website, hospitalizations remain fairly high. (Last updated: October 8, 2020 at 1:30pm)

  • Total Cases: 29,069 (+47) *
  • Total Deaths: 406
  • Currently Hospitalized: 104 (+4**
  • Recovered: 19,000 ***
  • Test Results Received and Processed: 301,062