Fresno County stays in red tier, but uncertainty on case-rate calculations remains

Local News

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE) – California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced Tuesday that Fresno County met the metrics to stay in the red tier, but uncertainty remains on how the state is calculating the county’s case rate remains.

The state updated its blueprint website showing Fresno County at an adjusted 6.5 daily case rate per 100,000 people, for the week ending Oct. 3.

However, the state’s dataset does not match up. According to the state’s dataset, for the week ending Oct. 3 Fresno County reported:

  • 9/27 – 105 new cases
  • 9/28 – 76 new cases
  • 9/29 – 104 new cases
  • 9/30 – 85 new cases
  • 10/1 – 90 new cases
  • 10/2 – 59 new cases
  • 10/3 – 120 new cases

According to that dataset, the average daily count for that week would be around 91.3 cases. That would translate to a rate of roughly 9.1 cases per 100,000 people in Fresno County. However, the blueprint page on Tuesday had Fresno County at an adjusted case rate of 6.5 for the same week.

This is not the first time there have been discrepancies with state numbers. When we asked the state about it at the end of September, they responded:

Any time data is pulled it’s only a snapshot of that moment in time. A week later, the numbers on a specific day may have changed due to late test reporting, a change in diagnosis, etc. Specific calculation methods applied to the data can also cause a difference between what is posted by counties and the state.

California Department of Public Health

Vyxn Restaurant & Lounge owner Lewis Everk had planned a rally in front of Fresno City Hall before Tuesday’s update, fearing the county would go back into the purple tier. After the update, Everk decided to continue with the rally.

“We’re rallying here for transparency. We’re rallying for 100% to be open and we’re rallying to have the hospitalization numbers, the ICU bed numbers, and the death rate be counted into our current tier system,” Everk said.

He added that he did not understand how the state was calculating the numbers.

“It leaves no understanding on how we got there. And that’s more disturbing than anything else at this point,” he said.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Fresno County was one of the counties they were watching closely after it showed an uptick in its case rate in last week’s update. However, he added that the county was able to meet red tier case metrics in this week’s update.

“Fresno County was one of those counties. They met the threshold for red this week so they’ll remain there,” Ghaly said.

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig said he has highlighted to state agencies how important it is that Fresno County stays open.

“Really the critical thing we need to be keeping our eyes on is hospital capacity, making sure that our hospitals have appropriate personal protective equipment,” Magsig said.

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