FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE)- During the Fresno County Health Department’s press conference Thursday, health officials offered a virtual tour of their brand new public health lab, where they have the ability to process 50 to 200 Covid test samples at a time, with results within 24 to 48 hours.
Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said it will be a big advantage as they anticipate Coronavirus cases continuing to rise.
“We feel like we’re on the cusp of a surge statewide, and I think that our region here in Fresno County will also be experiencing that same uptick in numbers,” said Dr. Vohra.
According to state data, Fresno County’s 7-day average for new Coronavirus cases was 24 on June 20, and that number doubled in just a month.
Dr. Vohra said that increase is likely due to the Delta variant, relaxed masking rules, and more large gatherings.
“Really that combination of factors has led to this increase in case rates,” said Dr. Vohra, “and we’re just afraid that that’s going to lead to an ultimate increase in hospitalizations and an uptick in the number of deaths, which are arguably preventable deaths at this point if people get their vaccines.”
With that increase in cases, there has also been a renewed demand for testing in Fresno County.
“We were testing just a handful of people before a day. That really trended down, but now it’s exploded back up that we’re doing like 30 a day on some days,” said Dr. Kenny Banh, director of the Covid Equity Project.
“Our positivity rate has also kind of doubled where we were dropping down to like 3%, but now we’re way back up to 6 or 7% positive rates.”