Amid increasing COVID numbers in Fresno County, local school continues to defy orders


FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Twelve more COVID-19-related deaths and more than 1,500 new cases were reported in Fresno County since Tuesday, according to the County Department of Public Health.

According to an article published by the LA Times on Wednesday, weekly COVID-19 related deaths in eight Central Valley counties have increased from about 20 deaths per week in April to nearly 200 per week in the last two weeks. The analysis also said that San Joaquin Valley residents make up 20% of recent COVID-19-related deaths, but makeup only 10% of California’s population. 

“COVID has a way of reaching into all communities, big, small, and those in the central area as well, and so we’re seeing the impact of that,” said Dr. John Zweifler, a medical consultant with the Fresno County Department of Public Health. “It’s a reflection of the high case rates in our community.”

Amid increases, Immanuel Schools in Reedley continues to defy state and county orders by having in-person classes.

“I had the privilege of at least a moment of education at Catholic schools, we were taught to respect rules and regulations, so I’m disappointed obviously that they’re not abiding by their local health officer whose purpose it is simply to keep people healthy, keep people safe,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Friday.

Fresno County Public Health Director David Pomaville said the next step of enforcement is having the superior court consider a restraining order and injunction. 

He added that the county health department wants to get kids back in schools, but it’s currently not safe to do so.

Hospitalizations have begun to stabilize over the last two weeks, Pomaville said. Health officials continued to urge people to wear face coverings, physical distance and avoid large gatherings.

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