Is the Central Valley flattening the curve? Experts examine the data


CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KGPE) – Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke about California flattening the curve – but is the Central Valley doing it?

Health officials say the curve is flattening, and social distancing a part of that, but the numbers also reflect the lack of testing across the state.

That is why statistics – such as the number of hospitalizations and people in ICU beds – is significant.

“When we look at the number of hospitalizations, that gives us a really good idea of who is critically ill,” said David Bacci, the regional vice president of the Hospital Council for Northern & Central California.

As of Thursday in Fresno County, 33 COVID-19 patients were in the hospital, which was up by eight from the day before. 12 of the 33 cases were patients in the ICU.

As of Thursday in Tulare County, 22 COVID-19 patients were in the hospital, which was up by four from the day before. Of those 22, eight were in the ICU, which was up one 1 up from the day before.

Sara Bosse, Madera County’s Public Health Director, said the hospitals in the county are not overwhelmed but they are working with other counties to prepare for a possible spike in cases.

The University of Washington Institute for Metrics and Evaluation shows that California reached its peak in deaths per day on Thursday with 96. The data is based on continuous social distancing.

In the Central Valley, it’s hard to tell when it could reach its peak in COVID-19 cases.

“As we look at the new number of cases every day, what it looks like is we’re probably going to keep continuing on this trajectory until it gets better,” Bacci said.

And continuing to follow guidelines and practicing distancing from others is still very much essential.

“Social distancing is still critical, we know that the illness is still out there,” Bosse said.

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