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‘I think July is going to be very tragic,’ Fresno County health officer says


FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE) – As cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Fresno County, interim health officer Dr. Rais Vohra expressed concern during the county’s briefing Tuesday about what July could look like.

“We know just from the biology of this virus that the actual number of hospitalizations and the number of deaths usually trails by a couple of weeks, and so this last week of having an increase in case counts gives me a lot of indigestion going into the rest of the summer,” he said.

“I think July is going to be very tragic in terms of the number of hospitalizations and the number of fatalities that we see as a result of COVID-19.”

He said the county has 270 ICU beds. As of Tuesday morning, roughly 200 of them are being occupied by patients, and about 40 of those 200 are COVID-19 patients, he said.

“The rest of the ICU beds are being taken up by other very critical illnesses that are really not gonna let it up just because people are suffering from coronavirus,” he said.

Because of this, he said he’s concerned that hospitals may not have a lot more room, especially as the county sees large case counts daily.

RELATED: Recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19 by Fresno County’s Dr. Rais Vohra

“That’s kind of what concerns me, is that at the same time that our hospitals are trying to deliver standard medical care for everything else, now we’re stressing them even more with higher and higher caseloads of coronavirus,” Dr. Vohra said.

Some hospitals have activated their surge protocols, he said.

“Which means that they are not only at or over capacity but they’re actually moving into those emergency protocols that they have planned,” he said.

And as the Fourth of July weekend approaches, he urged residents to be responsible and try to stay within their own households.

“Please be mindful that large gatherings are going to work against us,” Dr. Vohra said.

He said the environmental health team will be enforcing bar closures.

“We really opened up a lot of different industries and our numbers really just started surging up and so now its time to take the lessons of that and see what we can adjust and tweak,” he said.

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