Fresno area hospitals bracing for surge in Omicron cases

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the pandemic approaches its second year, Fresno County health officials are bracing for yet another surge in COVID-19 cases.

"So, we're, we're really entering the beginning of a surge that looks like it's going to surpass what we just went through. If you're looking at the other areas of the state," said Dan Lynch, director of Fresno County EMS.

EMS Director Dan Lynch says hospitals will be hit the hardest, "We really need people to avoid the emergency departments if they have a non-emergency type of medical condition."

In the coming days, if you call for an ambulance and do not have an emergency, paramedics will not transport you to the hospital.

Instead, people should make appointments with their primary physicians and utilize urgent care or telehealth.

Health officials also say more people are getting tested following the holidays.

The county's testing sites saw a nearly 30% increase last week compared to the week before.

"It was great to see that utilization go up, and we will continue to assess. We will continue to assess having those assets in place and see if we need to add any days or times as well," said Joe Prado.

At-home rapid tests are on their way to Fresno to be distributed to families.

They haven't arrived yet, but when they do, there will be a website where you can sign up for up to five testing kits per household.

Vulnerable populations will be prioritized.

Now a new concern is being dubbed "flurona," where patients are infected with the flu and COVID at the same time. One case has already been confirmed in Southern California.

"There's definitely flu in Fresno County, and there's definitely COVID in Fresno County. I would not be surprised if the two happened together in the same patient," interim health officer Dr. Rais Vohra said.

Dr. Vohra says to assume there is already combo viral cases. He also encourages both flu and COVID vaccines.

Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.