FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – While the rest of the state is showing signs the omicron wave is coming to an end, the San Joaquin Valley continues trending in the opposite direction. In Fresno County, there are currently 581 positive cases. 

“And this number is not waning, it’s continuing to rise,” said Fresno County EMS Director Dan Lynch. 

Officials point to the county’s vaccination rate. 

“57% of our total population is fully vaccinated,” said Joe Prado, community health division manager with Fresno Public Health. 

At Community Regional Medical Centers (CRMC), 67% of patients hospitalized due to covid are unvaccinated.

“We are most of the counties that have surpassed what the delta variant hospitalizations were, and we’re actually passing up the hospitalizations from back in the winter surge,” said Lynch. 

The EMS director added there’s also an unprecedented number of patients in the ER with non-emergency conditions, some of whom show up for testing.

Staffing continues to be a problem, too.

“The hospitals still have a lot of employees that are out on isolation,” said Lynch. 

The county’s working with the state to up staffing.

“We believe we could open up close to 100 more beds in the Fresno area if we have the staffing available,” Lynch said. 

The county will also continue its assess and refer policy, which means patients will be transported to the hospital on a case by case basis. 

“We have assessed and referred 409 individuals away from the hospitals [in the last two weeks]. That’s about 30-35 average a day,” said Lynch. 

Public Health also said there are no plans to open up alternate care sites like those set up in 2020.