Fresno County wants recovered COVID-19 patients to donate blood, plasma

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With Fresno County at just over 2,700 total COVID-19 cases, it's now on the governor's list to receive more targeted engagement from state officials.

As of Monday afternoon, the fatalities in Fresno County rose by three to a total 55. Right now, 61 patients are battling COVID-19 from a hospital bed, 22 of them in the Intensive Care Unit.

Fresno County's Interim Health Director Dr. Rais Vohra says he expects numbers to increase as more people return to work, go out shopping, and indulge in entertainment activities.

Some positive news - the number of patients who have recovered is also going up. Health officials are encouraging those who had coronavirus to help donate blood and plasma to help those who are still sick.

"That's because that's one of the best therapeutic options we have at this time is the antibodies in the plasma of patients that have recovered from coronavirus. That can actually be used to help patients that are still struggling," says Dr. Vohra.

Fresno County health leaders are asking the state to add an additional testing site to get closer to reaching the goal of 1,500 tests a day.

One of the biggest challenges locally remains vulnerable populations like nursing homes. To date, Dycora Transitional Health and Living in Fresno has had 29 patient deaths. Redwood Springs Healthcare Center in Visalia also has 29.

Better communication and contact tracing remain the goals of Fresno County Health officials, even when it comes to organizations that are experiencing outbreaks, even if they are outside county limits like the Avenal State Prison.

To remind the public to not get complacent, new messages are being made in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Punjabi. They include new recommendations based on the latest and most current health information.

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