Fresno

As Fresno Co. ramps up coronavirus testing, public health officials sweat “chaotic” reopening

Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra warned about the struggles of reopening the parts of society that have been closed due to the shelter-in-place orders as the number of positive coronavirus cases continue to rise.

“I’ll be frank with you,” said Vohra in a teleconference Wednesday. “I think that the reopening – whenever and however that happens – it may actually be more chaotic than the shutting down.

“And I say that because I do feel and I have heard different levels of energy and different voices talking about reopening on different trajectories, and we’re going to have to get that coordinated extremely well in order to do it right.”

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in the county rose by 14 to 265 on Wednesday, and the number of fatalities stayed put at seven.

Out of the total cases, 38 are travel related, 88 are from person-to-person contact, 97 are from community spread and 42 are under investigation.

Vohra said that the number of total hospitalizations due to coronavirus is 59, and 62 individuals have fully recovered. The health department is currently monitoring 214 patients.

Although the county has received 3,674 processed tests, Vohra said that it’s not enough.

“What would make me happy, if we have a thousand tests done every day somewhere in the county and they all come back negative – that would make me happy,” Vohra said. “Right now we’re not doing enough tests, and obviously our numbers keep climbing.

“So it means we have more work to do in terms of social distancing, in terms of preventing the next person from getting infected, and so I think we still have some ways to go as we see these numbers climbing day after day after day.”

Whenever Fresno and each city with a shelter-in-place order decides to lift the rule, people will need to be prepared for the possibility that it will need to be reinstated, Vohra said.

“There’s other countries that have had to reinstate their shelters-in-place just because they had a double peak or a later peak in their pandemics,” Vohra said. “So really anything is probable at this point. We just need to think rationally about what would make sense for us.”

Daniel Gligich
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.