FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted to pass a resolution on Tuesday that clarified their role when it comes to schools and the state.
The supervisors said they will support local school districts in the decisions they make, but that they won’t be in the middle of them and the state.
“We support them, we’re behind them and when they make their decisions, we’re gonna support them. But we encourage them to follow the guidelines presented by the state,” Fresno County Board of Supervisors Chair Steve Brandau said.
Currently, school districts are to follow the California Department of Public Health guidelines for a safe return to school. But this has been met with opposing views from some parents at Clovis Unified, and some district leaders have advocated for more local control.
“If they want to listen to science, that’s their business. If they don’t want to listen to science, that’s their business. They were elected and they need to do their job. We don’t feel as our board, it’s our duty to impose our will on their governing body,” Supervisor Brian Pacheco said. “They will either follow the rules or they will pay the consequences for that, but that’s their decision to make. They were elected, and they need to do that.”
Just days away from reopening in person for many schools, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to surge in Fresno County. According to state data, 229 people with COVID-19 are hospitalized in the county.
Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said during the Board of Supervisors meeting that the rest of August and September will likely be challenging.
“What all the models are showing is evident on this graph, which this is going to last through September. All of our hospitals are extremely challenged right now they will remain challenged through at least August and probably through September,” Vohra said.
During Vohra’s presentation, he said the vast majority of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Fresno County and the Central Valley are unvaccinated.
Fresno County Department of Public Health Interim Assistant Director Joe Prado said they’d seen an increase in people getting vaccinated last week.
In addition to vaccines, Prado urged residents to continue taking precautions as the county faces this surge.
“Wear a mask whether you’re vaccinated or not indoors, wear a mask. We’re experiencing a surge,” Prado said.