Fresno County will receive $10 million in federal aid distributed by the state as part of an effort to help the Central Valley through the coronavirus pandemic.
The financial aid that Fresno County is receiving comes from a total of $52 million in funds distributed from a federal grant to the eight Central Valley counties, which California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday.
In a briefing with the Fresno County Department of Public Health on Tuesday, department director Dave Pomaville said the $10 million will go toward epidemiologic studies and lab capacities.
As far as the bureaucratic “strike force” teams that Newsom announced would be sent to the Valley, Pomaville said one will focus on Fresno and Madera counties.
Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said that the state has not told the county how many people will be sent to Fresno County and when they will be deployed.
“I think it’s going to be a combination of additional dollars coming in that can be deployed in the Valley but also more direct supports from the partner agencies that we’ve been working hard, but not working as well together,” Pomaville said. “We are really looking forward to these unified support teams coming to the Valley.”
The reason Newsom is sending the strike teams is because of the high positivity rates present throughout the Valley.
Numbers in Fresno County did little to dispel worries from the state with the uptick in positive coronavirus cases.
In data reported by the health department on Tuesday, the county added 1,188 positive cases since last Friday out of 8,777 tests processed.
That makes the positivity rate for the last few days 13.5%. For Fresno County to work back into the state’s good graces and get removed from the targeted engagement watch list, the state would like to see positivity rates below 8%.
The number of fatalities increased by eight since Friday, bringing the total to 120 deaths.
Fresno County has 9,336 active cases and 3,880 recovered individuals.
“I think the fact that the governor has deployed the resources to help our county and the surrounding counties represents a positive step, but every disaster has high points and low points,” Vohra said. “We’re going through a time of crisis. I remain optimistic that we will get through it, but we do need to get very focused on exactly what needs to be done and really just escalate the level of response that we’ve been making.”