CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KSEE) – While the warm weather and the Labor Day holiday weekend might tempt some to gather with friends and family, local counties and health departments are sending one message loud and clear: the public’s decisions impact how quickly the Valley can slow the spread of the virus.
“What we’re starting to say is opening up is up to you. It’s all up to us, as every individual, we have a responsibility to avoid these gatherings, wear our masks, practice social distancing, practice good hygiene,” said Jordan Scott, the public information officer with Fresno County.
It’s a message aimed at trying to prevent another spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, something counties throughout the Central Valley were hit hard by in July.
“We saw a very large, huge spike in cases following the 4th of July weekend,” said Carrie Monteiro, the public information officer for Tulare County’s Health & Human Services Agency.
She said as a result of those cases, Tulare County also saw a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.
She said during the 60-day period following the 4th of July weekend, 100 people died due to COVID-19 complications in Tulare County.
“We are really urging the public that we not make the same mistakes again,” Monteiro said.
While hospitalizations have decreased in Tulare and Fresno counties, they still remain under the state’s widespread tier, the most restrictive as far as reopening.
“It’s gonna start sounding like a broken record if it hasn’t already but really we want to keep taking those same preventative measures,” Scott said.
Fresno County parks like Skaggs Bridge Park & Avocado lake have 50% capacity limits, but city parks, like Woodward Park, don’t have any limitations for now.