Fresno

Coronavirus count rises by 10 in Fresno County

Fresno County health officials announced that there are 53 total cases of COVID-19 in the county, an increase of 10 from Saturday.

The majority of the cases are still due to travel. Officials said 17 cases are travel related, nine cases are from person-to-person contact from a known source, eight cases are from community-spread from an unknown source and the other 19 investigations are under investigation.

Dr. Rais Vohra, Interim Health Officer for the Fresno County Department of Public Health, said the department has set up a donation page on its website for medical supplies.

The department is asking the general public to donate unused medical supplies in good condition. The FCDPH is only accepting certain supplies at this point: face shields, hand sanitizer, N95 masks, surgical gloves and surgical gowns.

Fresno County is no exception in in its need for ventilators. Vohra said the number of available ventilators fluctuates day-to-day, and the county had 100 ventilators available on Monday.

The state will project how many ventilators each county needs, but Vohra said 100 ventilators will not be enough for Fresno County.

“It’s going to be more than 100,” Vohra said. “It’s going to be probably a factor of that, so that’s something that really does worry us, and we are definitely looking for supply chains that can help us get additional machines, either at the state or the federal level. So we have a whole team of logistics folks that are everyday active, looking at those supply chains and making sure that we’re doing everything that we can to secure more ventilators.”

Getting ventilators ahead of time to store for when the county will eventually hit the peak with the virus – assuming it has not already – is not possible. Ventilators are only released as needed, Vohra said.

“The fact that we don’t have them here is not unheard of,” Vohra said. “It’s something that every city and every county is dealing with. There’s really no one that’s allowed to store up these ventilators if they’re not going to be used.”

Fresno County has tested 325 people as of last Friday. Vohra said the department is discussing how to select the right people to test in order to not waste the limited resources it has.

“As you know, COVID is not really an equal opportunity killer,” Vohra said. “There’s actually some patients that are more at-risk of having a problem, like a complication or even a fatality, so those are the patients that we really need to focus on and make sure that we intervene very early on making that diagnosis.

“And for everyone else, we understand that there’s a big concern about getting tested. But really, even if you have the disease and you’re not going to go on to have a bad complication if you have a mild form of it, then that should be reassuring for the general otherwise healthy public, that they don’t necessarily need to rush out and get that test done.”

The people who benefit the most from testing are those in the high-risk population – older adults and people with underlying health conditions – and healthcare workers who interact with the general public on a regular basis.

“We want the general public to know that if you get told that you’re not going to get tested, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have the disease. It just means that it’s not really going to change what needs to get done in terms of your discharge instructions.”

In some cases it’s obvious that an individual has COVID-19 without getting tested, Vohra said. For example, someone who has a family member who tested positive, and then that individual starts showing symptoms.

“There’s really not a lot of value to testing that person because it’s pretty clinically evident that they themselves have the COVID,” Vohra said. “So that’s just one example of someone who doesn’t necessarily need to get tested.” 

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 [email protected]