Fresno

“The clouds are gathering”: Fresno County coronavirus count climbs to 18

Fresno County has 18 positive cases of COVID-19, health officials announced Tuesday, an increase of five from Monday.

Officials said that six cases are travel-related, two cases are from person-to-person cases and the other 10 cases are currently under investigation.

In a teleconference with county health officials Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Rais Vohra, Interim Health Officer for the Fresno County Department of Public Health, expects the pandemic to worsen in the county in the near future.

“The clouds are gathering, and we’re in for some ominous times,” Vohra said. “I don’t want to beat around the bush about that. We know that as the case counts go up, that we’re going to be strained at the levels of our medical sector, of our law enforcement, and public health and first responder sector. And we’re trying to protect all of our workers in public service as much as we can so that we can continue to function.”

The department said that there is no identified community spread currently, but the risk to the public is real and continued social distancing is encouraged.

With the impact of the virus on the healthcare system, Vohra said the county is asking all hospitals and medical providers to conserve supplies as much as possible.

The county will set up donation areas over the following week to allow for the public to donate any unopened medical supplies in good condition. In the meantime, individuals with supplies that they would like to donate can drop them off at the department of public health.

“That’s just one small thing that our community could do to help support our workers on the front line just to make sure that they have supplies that they need,” Vohra said.

Vohra said that he is unable to predict when Fresno County will go through the peak impact of coronavirus, but the county is on a pattern that is up to a week behind the other large metropolitan areas in California.

“We’ve noticed that our numbers and our rates of infections are lagging a little bit behind what we’re seeing in the more densely populated metropolitan areas of northern and southern California,” Vohra said.

“But I have to tell you that the signs are pretty ominous that we’re going to have an uptick in the number of cases as well as complications, and I wish I knew when and where that peak was going to be.”

Several individuals who tested positive have recovered, Vohra said, but as the numbers climb, he doesn’t expect everyone to be as fortunate.

“It’s really up to all of us to really encourage each other and remind each other to maintain that social distancing, because that’s really what’s going to work to help minimize the impact on our community.”

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.