County health officials warn public to stay safe this holiday season as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – With the holidays right around the corner, public health officials are worried about an uptick in COVID-19 cases, urging people to celebrate responsibly.

“Yes, we are worried. We are at the edge of our seats right now because the holidays are coming,” says Leticia Berber, a spokesperson for the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

In Fresno County, public officials say even though COVID-19 cases are coming down very slowly, local hospitals continue to be affected.

“Our hospitals right now, they’re seeing an increase in numbers and that is not good news for Fresno County because our hospitals are dealing with this pandemic in the forefront,” says Berber.

Fresno County’s health portal shows more than 200 people are currently hospitalized from COVID-19.

Berber says individuals that are in the hospital are, “Individuals that are under 50 years of age and not fully vaccinated.”

Berber adds that Hispanics are the most impacted and while the goal is to reach a 75% or more full vaccination rate, only 50% of the population is currently fully vaccinated.

Public health officials like Liz Darcy with Mariposa County says we are not out of the woods just yet and adds that the county is seeing some of their highest caseloads ever.

“We are seeing over 200 cases so far for the month of October compared to last October, so we really urge everyone to be aware of the activities that [they] participate in and to be as safe as possible,” says Darcy.

In Mariposa County, 50% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.

Darcy says while their healthcare system is prepared to handle a possible surge, they urge the public to take precautions and get vaccinated. This is a similar message the Madera County Public Health Department echoes too as the holidays approach.

Simon Paul, a health officer with the Madera County Public Health department says there are many people at risk who are still unvaccinated.

“There’s still a lot of people at risk that haven’t been vaccinated or have had COVID-19 and it’d be great if they could get vaccinated.”

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