Fresno

Sanger tapped for second high throughput coronavirus testing site

Fresno County is getting its second high throughput testing site from the state in an effort to ramp up coronavirus testing in the area.

The first high throughput testing site in the county opened this week at Fresno City College.

The Fresno County Department of Public Health announced that the second site will be in Sanger, located at the Sanger Community Center.

Just like the site at Fresno City College, the Sanger location will be able to conduct 132 tests per day. Anyone interested in getting tested can sign up online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting.

The site should be ready to open next week, county interim health officer Dr. Rais Vohra said in a teleconference.

The number of active cases in the county is on the upswing, increasing by 43 to 505. However, the county is performing tests at its highest rate yet.

The county is averaging about 450 tests so far this week. A few weeks ago, the county was averaging between 150-250 tests every day.

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases increased by 53 to 777, and the number of deaths remained at 9.

County hospital ICUs are starting to see more coronavirus patients. The county reported that there are 27 patients in the ICU that have a positive coronavirus case or are suspected of having the disease.

On May 1, there were 18 coronavirus patients in the ICU. Vohra said the county has a total of 150 ICU beds, but about half of the beds are currently empty.

“Right now, they’re getting all of the attention that they need,” Vohra said. “As they get more and more patients in the ICUs, you can imagine that the system will be more and more stressed. That’s why we’re watching this so closely, because along with the ICU bed capacity, our ventilator capacity will be stretched, our ECMO machine capacity will definitely be stretched.

“In addition to the ICU beds, it’s really all of the resources that are required to take care of these patients, so every single thing we can do to prevent an admission, and especially an ICU admission, is definitely worth doing.”

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.