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New data out Tuesday morning showed improvements in Fresno County COVID-19 metrics from last week, allowing the county to remain in the state’s red tier for reopening.

This means restaurants, churches and other businesses can continue to offer limited indoor services. There have been concerns in recent weeks that Fresno County might slip back into the more restrictive purple tier.

Fresno County currently has a 5.0% test positivity rate (down from 5.2% last week), and 6.7 cases per 100,000 residents (down from 7.3 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.

The state’s new “health equity” positivity rate is at 6.8% (down from  7.9% last week).  Fresno County needs to remain below 8% to in this measurement remain in the red tier. The purpose of this metric is to ensure California reopens its economy safely by reducing disease transmission in all communities.

(This is a developing story and will be updated.)

Fresno County Case Counts

Number of Cases in Fresno County according to the county’s website:

Last updated: October 26, 2020 at 3:30 PM

  • Total Cases: 30,858 (+268 Sunday and Monday.)*
  • Total Deaths: 436
  • Currently Hospitalized: 88 (-12)**
  • Recovered: 20,110 ***
  • Test Results Received and Processed: 343,087

Madera County Fails to Make Red Tier

Despite optimism by Madera County officials last week after meeting the state’s criteria for the red tier, the county remained in the state’s purple tier Tuesday.

Last Tuesday, Madera County’s adjusted case rate was reported to be 4.8 per 100,000, far below the state’s cutoff of 7 cases per 100,000. The county’s positivity rate stands at 3.4, well below the maximum allowable rate of 8 percent. Madera County had to meet the criteria for one more week before being able to move to the red tier.

However, the new state data shows the county’s adjusted case rate at 8.7 cases per 100,000, with a positivity rate of 5.7%.

Fresno County Million Mask Giveaway

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors and Fresno County EDC, announced the launch of a free PPE distribution program for small businesses throughout the county at a news conference Tuesday morning.

These supplies have been made available to California small businesses through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

“We have over 20 sites that will be handing out masks for this next week or until we we run out,” said Lee Ann Eager President and CEO of the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation. “And also hand sanitizers, we have 50000 hand sanitizers to give out.”

“In north Fresno you can get these free masks at our public libraries,” said Supervisor Steve Brandau.

Visit Fresnoedc.com or Revivefresnocounty.com for dates, times and locations of distribution that will begin Wednesday morning.

Supervisor Buddy Mendes speaks at a news conference letting business owners know about free masks and hand sanitzer being made available throughout the county. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

State’s COVID-19 Vaccine Work Group

Washington, Oregon and Nevada have joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which will independently review the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the FDA for distribution. Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the panel made up of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health.

“California has led with science and data through the COVID pandemic and when a vaccine becomes available, we will leverage our scientific expertise to verify its safety to give everyone the confidence they need to make important decisions regarding the health of their families,” said Governor Newsom in a press release.

California Senate Republicans raised some concerns in a news release that today’s announcement could delay access to vaccines. “Governor Newsom’s process would potentially only add layers of unnecessary bureaucracy and delays to delivering vaccines to Californians without substantively reviewing the safety or efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, let alone improving them.”

Newsom was asked during a midday press conference if the workgroup could possibly delay the ability for Californians to get a COVID-19 vaccine. “No, it will not cause any delays. It will increase transparency and trust,” responded Newsom.

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