Fresno, Madera Counties aim to ramp up testing to move to lower tiers

Madera County remains in California's most restrictive 'purple tier' while Fresno County is in the 'red tier'.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two Central Valley counties are focusing on one key factor - more COVID testing to move forward in the tiers.

On Tuesday, Madera County health officials changed their suggestions about regular testing after getting disappointing news for another week.

The county failed to advance from the 'purple tier', to the less restrictive 'red tier'.

RELATED: Madera County public health director: Population a factor in county remaining in 'purple tier'

Health officials attribute the stagnation partially to a smaller population.

So to combat it, they want everyone leaving their home to go to work or run errands regularly to get tested every four to six weeks.

County Public Health Director Sara Bosse and Public Health Officer Dr. Simon Paul compares the testing increase to sports teams' daily testing.

"There are situations like the NBA or the NFL - they pretty much test everybody every single day and everybody gets that that's a reasonable thing to do because they want to catch it immediately before it spreads to the rest of the team," says Bosse.

In nearby Fresno County, they sit in the 'red tier', despite having nearly 31,000 cases.

RELATED: Fresno County stays in 'red tier' of reopening California, for now

And to make sure everyone has access to testing, once a week the Fresno EOC, the COVID-19 Equity Project, and the African American Coalition host No-Cost Drive-Up COVID Testing.

The purpose, say officials, is to increase access to COVID-19 testing in a way that is culturally responsive, keeping in mind that communities of color are impacted differently.

Anyone is able to get same-day results, with no registration or insurance needed.

The Testing Tuesday event focuses on people in pockets of the community most impacted.

Hopefully giving more access to testing will help everyone move into the next tier and stop the spread.
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