COVID-19 numbers in Fresno, Merced counties trending in wrong direction


FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – The state’s blueprint page update on Tuesday showed COVID-19 numbers in Fresno and Merced counties trending in the wrong direction, putting them at risk of moving back into the Purple Tier, the most restrictive tier in terms of reopening.

Fresno County’s adjusted case rate for the week ending on Oct. 10 is at 7.3 daily cases per 100,000 people. Merced County’s is at 7.4 daily cases per 100,000 people. Both of those case rates fall into the Purple Tier metrics. If those numbers stay above seven, the counties could move back into the Purple Tier, which would mean more restrictions for businesses.

During his COVID-19 update on Tuesday, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said it’s not a surprise that some counties are teetering in between two tiers, especially larger counties.

“The blueprint allows us to look at things and loosen and tighten accordingly and we will do that with San Diego and other counties that are sort of living on a specific threshold between whichever two tiers,” Ghaly said.

In another Central Valley county, there is positive news. Madera County’s case and positivity rates have met the red tier metrics. If the trends continue into next Tuesday, the county will officially move into the red, less restrictive, tier.

However, Madera County Public Health Director Sara Bosse, warned that with the size of the county’s population, a small increase in cases could turn things around for them.

“A small handful of cases can have an impact on those rates and our ability to be open and stay open,” Bosse said.

Dr. Ghaly added that while many states throughout the country are experiencing new waves of cases, California so far has not. However, he warned that Californians must not let their guards down.

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