Fresno County will soon need extra beds for COVID-19 patients

A strike team dispatched by Governor Newsom to help reduce the infection rate is expected in Fresno next week.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County capped another week of reporting a large number of COVID-19 infections.

It's reported over 5,000 new cases over the past two weeks and the county is inching closer to needing the extra beds set up at the Convention Center.

It remains one of the state's COVID-19 hot spots.

A strike team dispatched by Governor Newsom to help reduce the infection rate is expected in Fresno next week.

"I'm actually pretty excited that we have some experts that are going to come help us really troubleshoot some of the challenge that we have," says county health officer Dr. Rais Vohra.

Fresno County is still on the state watch list with a coronavirus test positivity rate of 11%.

Under state guidelines, Fresno County schools aren't allowed to resume in-person classes.

The issue has sparked heated community debate but some students say this is not the time to return to campus.

"It is a little bit worrisome but I think it is the best decision to not go yet because the virus is not yet under control," says El Diamante senior Arjan Batth.

"We want the schools to get back open but in order to open safely, they need to have the community control of the pandemic and the spread of cases."

Despite the recent rise in COVID cases, Fresno County hasn't set a date for when it will open up the Convention Center to make use of the 250 beds set up to help stabilize patients.

"While it won't be this weekend that we open up the convention center, we won't be surprised if it's open as early as next week. We're really just taking things day by day," says Dr. Vohra.

The convention center is where county officials would meet with the incoming unified support strike team.

At this point, just 7% of the ICU beds in Fresno County are available for use.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
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