‘Labor Day is not a time to take a holiday from safety,’ health officials warn

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FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — Fresno County health officials are giving a warning after a spike in COVID-19 related deaths.

The county reported 27 more people have died since the last official update Friday.

“I myself was pretty astounded. And it’s not just this update, it’s for the last few days we’ve had dozens of deaths upon deaths,” Dr. Rais Vohra the interim health director said.

Vohra said the spike in deaths is likely the end result of a surge in cases he believes started Memorial Day weekend, when he says people seemed to stop caring about health orders.

“People just started to have a lot more mixing socially so to me that lasted beyond the three day holiday and that attitude change was really counter productive and I really want to guard against that,” he said.

This time Dr. Vohra is cautiously optimistic. He said hospital capacity and other metrics look better this week than the past few and while the alternate care site at the Convention Center is ready and waiting, it may not even need to come into play.

“I think as we’re moving down the road it seems like we’re gaining distance from having to use it,” Dan Lynch Fresno County’s EMS director said.

Vohra said as the county moves through the new tiered reopening plan, there will be an inevitable rise in cases, but stresses the importance of taking simple safety measures.

He said even family get togethers are spreading the virus and asked non-essential gatherings be cancelled.

“Labor Day is not a time to take a holiday from safety,” he said.

Vohra said one thing he’s excited about is testing. He’s optimistic this is the month the department reaches its testing goals.

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