Fresno

Fresno County announces two more coronavirus-related deaths

Fresno County announced 18 more positive cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 191.

Fresno County public health officials also announced two more fatalities of individuals who contracted COVID-19. Both individuals were elderly men, Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said in a teleconference. So far, five people in the county who contracted coronavirus have passed away.

Out of the total number of cases, 36 are travel related, 56 are from person-to-person contact, 69 are from community spread and 30 are under investigation.

In total, 43 individuals who have coronavirus have been hospitalized over the course of the pandemic, and 30 people have recovered completely.

The county currently has 150 ventilators available and ready to use, as well as 800 hospital beds.

The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control is working toward enhancing the surveillance of COVID-19 during pregnancy, Vohra said.

“This is a disease that is so new that we really don’t know exactly what the risk and the effects on pregnant women and their developing children are, so we’re very interested in getting more information,” Vohra said. “We want to help get this information collected, and obviously the first step is to test women who are pregnant.”

Vohra had a message for pregnant women who are having trouble getting tested: “Please contact us. The best thing to do is to have your obstetrician talk to us, because in addition to giving the test, we’re going to need to get additional information, and we may have some additional guidance for pregnant women, especially as we learn more about this disease and pregnancy.”

The alternate care site located at the Fresno Convention Center was set up this past week and is ready to go, Vohra said, which has 200 beds available.

The goal with the facility is to send non-coronavirus patients there, although Vohra said that there may come a time – depending on how bad a potential surge is – where it will become necessary to send coronavirus patients there.

However, Vohra said, the county hopes to never even have to use the site.

“We are absolutely hoping that if everyone does their part, and that we maintain the social distancing, and we really remind everyone that still needs to be doing it – that really if we do everything right, we will actually never need to use this for actual patients,” Vohra said. “That’s really our best hope, and I would reflect the best-case scenario for how Fresno County and the Central Valley experience the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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.