FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – With California waiting until June 15 to implement CDC guidance allowing those who are fully vaccinated to go maskless in most settings, Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra says that allows the county to vaccinate more people until then and continue to monitor variants of concern.
“This is moving quickly and these weeks are going to fly by, so we know we have a lot of work to do,” Vohra said. “We really want to get as many people in Fresno County vaccinated as possible so that we don’t even have to worry about whether they’re going be gathering indoors with someone who might have COVID.”
According to Fresno County’s most recent data, 46.4% of the county’s 12 and older population has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
In the next couple of weeks, Vohra said vaccinations as well as education are going to be essential.
“Instead of saying what’s allowed and what’s not allowed, let’s really talk about what’s high risk and what’s low risk, and that way people can make their own decisions.”
For outdoors, Vohra said the risk is much lower. He said they’ve told their school partners that kids no longer have to wear masks during recess or while outdoors.
“That’s such a low-risk activity that neither the teachers nor the children nor the staff if they’re outdoors need to be wearing masks as long as the social distancing can be maintained,” he said.
And the county continues to monitor for variants of concern.
Vohra said they’ve been notified by the state of 838 cases of variants in Fresno County. He said 400 are of the California variant, 113 of the UK variant, 10 of the Brazil variant, and eight of the South Africa variant. The rest are variants of less concern, he said.
Vohra added that the Fresno County Department of Public Health has been able to get in touch with 324 of those cases, in which they found out that 4% of them were hospitalized.
In Fresno County, according to state data, 69 people with COVID-19 or who are suspected of having it are in the hospital, with 12 in the ICU.
Vohra said after talking with people in the hospitals, for the most part, those who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 are not vaccinated.
“It sounds like vaccinated individuals, although they are getting some breakthrough infections, they’re not landing in the hospital for the most part and they’re not ending up in the ICU which is a really good sign,” Vohra said.