City leader wants Fresno County to release COVID-19 ZIP code data ‘to know exactly where the hotspots are’

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, Fresno County has yet to provide data on the number of cases per zip code. The county has more than 1,900 cases thus far.

“We have to distribute COVID relief funds and it’d be great to know exactly where the hotspots are in our city,” said Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias.

Arias has been pressing the county to release that information.

“We know where our nursing homes are located, we should also know where our vulnerable populations are located,” Arias said.

At the Fresno County Department of Public Health’s most recent virtual press conference on Friday, Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said they could release that data if numbers continue to increase.

“We’ve talked about it, some of the data are not at a high enough level to where we can really release cases, just because the case numbers are so small,” Vohra said.

Tulare County, which has more than 2,000 cases, began providing numbers based on regions in March. Since May 4, they’ve been doing so by zip code.

“It also allows us to monitor where the spread is going and we’ve been able to do it in two folds, to protect these cases’ identity but also do our job to protect the greater public in being able to notify them where we’re seeing an increase in cases,” said Carrie Monteiro with Tulare County’s Health & Human Servies Agency.

According to the data provided Tuesday on Fresno County’s COVID-19 dashboard, minorities make up a significant number of coronavirus cases. The black community makes up 71.5 cases per 100,000 people, the white population makes up 75 per 100,000 people, Asians make up 58 cases per 100,000 people, and Latinos make up 154 cases per 100,000.

Arias said he wants to see more testing sites in South Fresno because of the vulnerable populations who live in that area.

“South Fresno is home to a vast majority of our essential workers in the city,” said Arias. “From Amazon distribution center to meat-packing plants, farm labor, grocery stores. We have the responsibility to ensure that our essential workers and our vulnerable residents have the ability to be tested in their neighborhoods.”

Arias said if the county does not open more testing sites in south Fresno, the city is prepared to use its own money in coordination with the state to do so.

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