COVID-19 hospitalizations surge in Fresno County, local hospital says vast majority of patients are unvaccinated

Local News

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – COVID-19 hospitalizations in Fresno County have risen by 91% in just one week, according to state data.

Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center is one of the local hospitals experiencing an increase in patients.

“I’ve been seeing increases pretty quickly week to week,” said Dr. Robert Ferdman, a hospital medicine doctor at Kaiser in Fresno.

Ferdman said with this rise, the vast majority of their patients are not vaccinated and many are younger patients.

“30s, 40s, 50s and very critically ill and requiring very high oxygen support, very high medical demand to keep them alive,” Ferdman said.

Ferdman added that there’s a small minority of COVID-19 patients that are vaccinated, but it’s a different situation.

“They’re not as critically ill or in a severe situation compared to our unvaccinated population,” Ferdman said. “What I’ve seen is that the vaccine has prevented patients from major complications, critically ill hospitalizations, and deaths as well.”

Emergency physician Dr. Sukhjit Dhillon with the UCSF Fresno COVID-19 Equity Project says they are starting to see a slight increase in people coming in to get their vaccine.

“I think it might be because people are hearing about this delta variant and how transmissible it is and how fast it’s going through the unvaccinated population,” Dhillon said.

But Dhillon said they want to see more people, and their push to get more people vaccinated is focusing on mobile clinics.

“I think the more people we reach, even if its 10, 20 people every day, it makes a huge difference.” Dhillon said.

“It’s here, it’s safe. Do your research, call the county, come here, call us, talk to us, we can educate you about it,” Dhillon added on the vaccine.

A list of vaccine clinic events can be found here. The UCSF Fresno vaccination site will be moving to the UC Merced Fresno Center starting Aug. 4.

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