10% of staff returning to school will have to get surveillance testing in Fresno County, health officer says

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FRESNO, Calif (KGPE) – Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said under a new order he signed, 10% of staff returning to a school for in-person learning in the county will have to participate in a surveillance testing program in order to get ahead of any potential infections. 

“As we bring groups together, especially in a school setting, we want to get ahead of any cases or outbreaks that happen,” Vohra said. 

He said at least until the end of 2020, that 10% of staff at a school would have to get tested every month, with the county health department offering support.

This comes as the county tries to improve its number of tests it conducts a day.

Vohra said the county is conducting around 2,000 tests per day, but the state wants it to be at around 2,500. 

He added that the state will be receiving 18,000 antigen tests, but with these antigen tests, people would have to be showing symptoms.

“The antigen tests come back usually within a half hour. Sometimes even 15 minutes,” he said.

He said with the flu season, testing will be essential as more and more people go into primary clinics and the emergency department.

“All of that is going to rise and we’re going to need to rapidly test and tell people if they have coronavirus, influenza, strep throat,” Vohra said.

Because of discrepancies in numbers, Dr. Vohra said it’s hard to predict what the county’s case rate will be at on Tuesday when the state updates its blueprint page. However, he said from what they’ve seen, he thinks numbers will stay in the red tier.

“I hope that we continue to stay in the red. From what we’ve seen we think that we will. But we also have to be prepared that if there is some uptick that the state is calculating, if not this week, then in the future we might slide backwards,” Vohra said.

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