FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Fresno County is recording its highest ever COVID-19 test positivity rate as the Omicron variant continues to spread.

As the cases surge, COVID-related hospitalizations skyrocketing.

“We are getting tested,” said Cindy Hernandez as she and her children waited in their minivan at the UCSF Fresno COVID-19 Equity Project testing site. “Our kids were exposed to COVID in their childcare center.”

Hernandez and her children, which are all under the age of four, waited in line for around 30 minutes to get swabbed. This is the third time since the beginning of the year that her children have been exposed to COVID-19 at daycare.

“Every time one of them gets sick,” said Hernandez. “We all have to quarantine and it is a lot and it is expensive.”

According to state data, Fresno County has hit an all-time high COVID-19 test positivity rate at 33%. That means one-third of tests administered in the county have come back positive.

The previous record occurred during the January 2021 winter surge at a 19% test positivity rate in the county.

“The hospitals are really being challenged right now,” said Central California EMS Director Dan Lynch.

The high case rate has a domino effect with COVID-related hospitalizations in Fresno County currently over 560, which is a 270% increase since Christmas.

“The hospital is basically at capacity so trying to get patients admitted up to a bed is really a significant challenge for us at this point,” said St. Agnes Chief Nursing Officer Deanette Sisson.