Gov. Newsom says Central Valley is state’s ‘biggest area of concern’ as region continues to experience high hospitalization numbers

Coronavirus

CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KSEE) – While the state as a whole is seeing numbers decrease slightly, counties throughout the Central Valley are still experiencing high COVID-19 hospitalization numbers and positivity rates.

“If you ask me today what our biggest area of concern in a state as large as ours, it is indeed the Central Valley,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom during his COVID-19 briefing on Monday.

The Central Valley continues to be a hot spot for COVID-19 in California.

“You’re starting to see the hospitalization and ICU rates increase, not just positivity rates in the valley, outpacing the rest of California,” Newsom said.

According to state data, 328 people with COVID-19 or suspected of having it are hospitalized in Fresno County hospitals — 61 are in the ICU.

Tulare County is one of the Central Valley counties hit the hardest by the pandemic. As of Monday, its rate of transmission reached 593 cases per 100,000 people.

“Disproportionately, the disease is impacting our diverse communities, disproportionately impacting the Latino community, disproportionately impacting the community in the Central Valley,” Newsom said.

Last week, Newsom announced $52 million and strike teams would be going to the Central Valley to help slow the spread of the virus.

The $52 million will expand disease investigation, contact tracing and quarantine efforts, according to Newsom.

An additional $6.5 million will be used to ensure essential supplies, food, rent, utilities and more for vulnerable families and individuals, according to Newsom.

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig said the county needs to focus more on rural areas.

“The county really wants to focus on buying additional personal protective equipment for those frontline workers, not only doctors and nurses, but also essential workers out there, people who work out in the fields, in processing plants,” Magsig said.

On Monday morning, the state strike team met with the Fresno County Department of Public Health to discuss further efforts to help slow the spread of the virus. Among the topics discussed was the need to better support essential workers.

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