‘We’ll take it’; Fresno hospitals appeal for supplies as they prepare for a surge in COVID-19 patients

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – As more cases of coronavirus emerge in Fresno County, hospitals are preparing for a surge of patients.

Some healthcare providers say they are already running low on personal protective equipment and fear the worst is yet to come.

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“I think it’s just too early to see if our social distancing is having an impact or not,” said Fresno County Department of Public Health Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra. 

Health officials confirmed 82 cases of COVID-19 in the county on Wednesday. They say 66 of them are within the city limits of Fresno or Clovis, and 16 are in other areas of the county. 

“We are actively pursuing projects that will help us really map and geo-locate where these clusters are located so we can intervene in these communities,” said Dr. Vohra.

“There’s always risking going to work, but this is what we signed up to do,” said Emergency Physician at Community Regional Medical Center at UCSF Fresno, Dr. Jessica Mason. 

It’s a career-defining moment for many healthcare providers on the frontlines. Dr. Mason says personal protective equipment, especially masks, are close to running out and CRMC needs donations.

“Even if you have something that’s expired or laying around in your garage for who knows how long. That could be the difference between me wearing a dirty mask and wearing one that’s cleaner. And we’ll take it,” said Dr. Mason. 

As cases climb in Fresno County, healthcare providers brace for the surge ahead but worry they’re already behind. 

“We already are short on doctors and healthcare personnel in the Central Valley and we know it’s going to be a strain. So we’re pulling all of our resources together to see how we’re all going to get through this together, we’re going to get through it, we are, it’s just going to be tough for a little while,” said Dr. Mason. 

If you want to help, you can click here for instructions to make a DIY mask pattern. For more information on how you can donate them to medical personnel, contact CMCdonations@communitymedical.org or call at 559.459.4040.

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