Local health officials urging community to be cautious during COVID surge

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Daily COVID cases in Central California have hit a new high for the current Summer surge -- causing major challenges for local hospitals and staff.

"We really need everyone in the community to be safe-minded in the next few weeks just because there is so much of a constraint related to our ability to deliver effective care to everyone who needs it," says Dr. Rais Vohra.

With hospitalizations reaching critical levels, the struggle now for local health experts is trying to slow the number of patients going to emergency departments with non-emergency type medical issues that could be better served at urgent care or a doctors visit

"I think that's one of the biggest things when we go into this COVID surge is that all of our efforts are to protect our health care system, and that's the mode we're in right now," says Fresno County Emergency Medical Services Director Dan Lynch.

Amid the record-high number of COVID patients as of late, concerns are growing that Central California hospitals will soon be overwhelmed to the point where they run out of Intensive Care Unit space.

"I can tell you right now that we have very little capacity for ICU patients in our seven counties, especially in Fresno County," Lynch said.

Additional vaccinations are expected to arrive for the general public as soon as next month. However, health experts are recommending those with compromised immune systems get the booster shot as soon as possible.
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