Omicron cases double in Fresno in 24 hours; hospitals overflowing with patients


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Omicron cases in Fresno County have doubled in the last 24 hours and now hospitals are bracing for another surge in COVID-related hospitalizations despite many of them already overflowing with patients.

Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said there are now 43 confirmed Omicron cases in Fresno County.

Since Christmas, COVID-related hospitalizations are up over 50% in the county. This as the state announced Wednesday the mask mandate being extended through Feb. 15.

“Patient volumes are going up and will continue to go up,” said Vohra. “We are just at the start of our surge.”
Emergency Medical Services Director Dan Lynch said hospitals and emergency departments are overflowing with COVID and non-COVID patients.

Lynch advised those with non-urgent calls to not go to the emergency room.

“Try to seek and use their private physicians, their urgent cares, the clinics, the telehealth technology available to them,” said Lynch. “Because the emergency department is just not the place to be with a non-emergent condition.”

The new spike has many residents worried.

“I am just concerned about the Omicron overall,” said Deborah Holmes from Fresno.

Holmes waited in line at the UCSF vaccine and testing site across from Fashion Fair Mall to get her booster shot.

Holmes said it is the best way to protect herself as Omicron cases continue to rise.

“Across the US, it is really bad,” Holmes.

Despite the long lines for COVID testing, the demand for vaccines is trending down. To date, 55% of Fresno County residents are vaccinated and only 17% of 5-11-year-olds have both vaccines.

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