FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE) – Throughout the pandemic, the city of Fresno and Fresno County haven’t always been on the same page. But during this current COVID-19 surge, elected officials are trying to get a unified message across.
They say they’re pro-health, pro-business, and pro-community.
In a release sent Monday, they released a joint statement saying the city, the county, the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, the California Restaurant Association Fresno Chapter, and other groups had met to be on the same page moving forward.
It’s something that hasn’t always occurred in the last year and a half.
“The county would say one thing, the city of Fresno had their own plan and their own experts over there. After a year of that, I think it served everybody to do as much as possible, together, jointly,” Fresno County Board of Supervisors Chair Steve Brandau said.
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer said it’s important that people understand that hospitals are overwhelmed.
“Just the importance of us all being vigilant. We know that the delta variant is on the rise. We know that there are more and more people that are ending up in the hospital that are unvaccinated,” Dyer said.
Saint Agnes Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Deanette Sisson said they’re continuing to see an increase in patients with COVID-19 coming in.
“We certainly have seen increasing patient volumes, particularly around the COVID patient population. We’ve been averaging 100 COVID patients on a daily basis, which is significant,” Sisson said.
At the same time, Dyer said they want to make sure they’re supporting businesses.
“We also know that it’s important that not only that people out there are aware of this increase but to make sure that business owners are continuing to do what they do to keep their employees safe, their customers safe,” Dyer said. “The last thing we want to do is go backwards, shut down our economy, cause businesses to be impacted in a negative way.”
“What we’re trying to do in Fresno County is make sure we don’t have another shut down. The city of Fresno is in the same spot. We’re joining our businesses,” Brandau said.
And for some, the unified message is a relief.
“It’s just a reminder that we’re all in this together and doing what it takes to keep people safe,” said Scott Miller, the president and CEO of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce.
California Restaurant Association Fresno Chapter President Chuck Van Fleet also took part in the meeting with the city and county.
“It was great to see the mayor, the Board of Supervisors, the chamber, us, and other entities come together and agree on a foundation,” Van Fleet said.
The statement also encouraged people to get their vaccine and do what they can to stay safe — this as hospitals continue to feel the impact of low vaccination rates in the Central Valley.
“Do the things that you can to keep your family well, don’t gather in large groups, use all good hygiene, wear the mask when you’re out in public, wash your hands and get the vaccine,” Sisson said.