Several Valley counties on state monitoring list: ‘This is a really critical time’


CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KGPE) – Several counties in the Valley are on the state’s monitoring list as their COVID-19 hospitalization numbers and positivity rates increase.

In total, 23 counties are on the state’s watchlist. Among them are Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Merced, and Madera counties. Madera County was added Monday.

“Our positivity rate is now 11%, and just weeks ago, it was below the 8% that the state was looking for,” said Sara Bosse, the Madera County public health director.

She said the county has seen a significant increase in the number of cases reported daily.

“Just this weekend, we’re reporting an additional 135 cases for Saturday and Sunday when we’d been averaging about 25 to 30 cases a day,” Bosse said.

“We’re also seeing an increase in hospitalizations, both in Madera County and neighboring Fresno County, where many Madera County residents receive their healthcare,” she added.

According to state data, as of Monday in Fresno County, 163 people who have COVID-19 or are suspected of having it are hospitalized, 40 are in the ICU.

Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said he worked in the emergency department on July 4.

“It’s pretty evident working on the frontlines of medicine here in Fresno County that we are experiencing a higher level of volumes related to coronavirus, and at the same time, our hospitals have some serious capacity issues and staffing issues that we are working through,” he said during the county’s COVID-19 briefing on Monday.

Vohra urged people once again to wear their face coverings and practice social distancing.

“Even though we feel that we are currently able to take care of everyone who’s coming in, this is a really critical time,” he said. “And we need to all do whatever we can, whether we’re in the medical field or not, in order to decrease the numbers of transmissions that we are experiencing here in our county.”

During Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 briefing on Monday, he said over the last 14 days, the state’s positivity rate is at 6.8%. In the last seven days, it’s at 7.2%.

Hospitalizations have increased by 50% over the last two weeks and ICU admissions by 39% over the last two weeks, Newsom said.

“This pandemic is still in front of us, continues to spread at rates we have not experienced here in the state of California since the beginning of this pandemic,” Newsom said.

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