Fresno

Fresno Co. coronavirus positivity rate climbs, health department to slow down reporting

The Fresno County Department of Public Health is slowing down its coronavirus case numbers reporting, county Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra announced Monday. 

In his COVID-19 briefing Monday, Vohra said the county will report numbers twice a week, which he expects to start either this week or next. 

Fresno County has reported numbers almost daily since mid-March. 

The reason for the change: “The numbers are getting to the point where we’re not going to be able to update every single day,” Vohra said. 

“If you see that the cadence of the updates is changed a little bit, that’s deliberate,” Vohra said. “That’s so our epidemiology team has a little bit more time to really make sure that all of these cases that are coming in positive get all of the attention that they need before we report them out.” 

However, that change has not come just yet. The department reported numbers Monday, and the results showed an unusually high positivity rate. 

Since the last update on July 4, Fresno County reported 489 new positive cases out of 2,499 tests on Monday, good for a 19.6% positivity rate. 

The county had previously averaged a positivity rate of about 8-10% over the past few weeks, although the rate came in at over 17% one day last week. 

In order for Fresno County to get removed from the state’s Targeted Engagement List, the county will have to have its positivity rate sink to under 8%. Currently, Fresno County’s total positivity rate from the start of testing in March is 9.1%. 

“I would love to have under 5% just to make absolutely sure that we have that cushion built in just in case we have a sudden unforeseen surge, for example, later on down the line,” Vohra said. 

Vohra also clarified how test results are reported. All positive tests are only counted once, which takes work from the epidemiology team to ensure that the same positive test is not reported to the county multiple times, and every single negative result is reported, even if multiple results come from the same individual. 

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.