City Council Receives Briefing on COVID-19

The city council was updated on the city’s COVID-19 numbers and data by City Manager Luke Serpa on Tuesday, Sept 8.

Serpa said that there was a spike in infections in the city in the second week of August and Clovis is now the second city with most COVID-19 cases in the county, behind Fresno.

Serpa also said that most of the spread seen in Clovis is community acquired which is a lot harder to figure out the origin of the spread. The hardest age group hit by new infections has been 18-49 year-olds and the virus is more common in males than in females but only by a small margin.

Serpa mentioned that the hospitalizations are curving down from their peak in July, but that there was still a ways to go. Also, the Intensive Care Unit hospitalizations have been decreasing but at a much lower rate than regular hospitalizations.

The council also voted on an action to redirect additional funds to the Housing and Community Budget by $60,000. This additional money will be used by the Emergency Housing Payment Program to help residents in need. The Emergency Housing Payment Program was set up to help those Clovis residents who due to the pandemic needed help paying for their mortgage or rent.

However, the Emergency Housing Payment Program ran out of funds due to the amount of households needing help. With this increase in budget, the program would be able to help an additional 33 households.

Councilmember Mouanoutoua thanked the team for helping out the families in need and congratulated them on running a great program. Mayor Drew Bessinger also thanked them and told a story of a local hairdresser who was helped by the program.

John Shore, the executive director of the community housing council of Fresno spoke to the council about the program and how they have been helping people. Shore works with the Emergency Housing Payment Program going through the applications and deciding who to award the funds.

“Many of the people we have helped with this program have been renters,” Shore said. “We know that this is just the tip of the iceberg…there are many people out of work, many who are homeowners.”

The council thanked Shore and his team for helping the Clovis community and voted unanimously to pass the increase of funds for the program.

Jorge Rodriguez has a passion for journalism and wants to bring the community information and great stories. After high school Jorge joined the U.S. Army and while in active duty he was deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in college he worked for the Fresno City College Rampage and the Fresno State Collegian newspapers. He graduated from Fresno State in 2019 with a degree in print journalism.