On February 1, City Manager Luke Serpa gave the COVID-19 report to the City Council. Before giving his weekly report, he presented an emergency order to be voted on by the council.
The emergency order will suspend certain eligibility requirements for seniors to ride public transportation in order to facilitate their transportation to and from vaccination locations.
Seniors 65 years or older living within Clovis and the Clovis Transit Service Area will be allowed to ride the Clovis Roundup Transit bus without the need of proper application or a doctor’s note.
Individuals who need to utilize this service to get their COVID-19 vaccination will be allowed to bring one caregiver with them. The service will be based on staff and vehicle availability and will last until the emergency order is lifted.
The service will be available to take residents to the COVID-19 vaccination site at the Fresno Fairgrounds even though it is beyond the limits of the transit service.
This service is not available for anyone. It is provided only for seniors 65 and older. Those with disabilities are also eligible for the service.
The council voted unanimously to adopt the emergency order as well as lift certain eligibility requirements in order to allow seniors 65 and older to ride public transportation to and from vaccination locations.
City Manager Luke Serpa continued with his update on the pandemic’s impact in Clovis.
Serpa reported that COVID-19 positive cases trending down. The number of positive cases are lower than those of last month. He also stated the city has also seen a decline in positive cases.
In Clovis, the number of deaths related with COVID-19 has gone down significantly from their peak last month. Hospitalizations are also trending down and ICU availability is improving in Fresno County.
Serpa mentioned that the Influenza pandemic of the early 1900s had a very similar wave compared to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the waves in both pandemics are similar, because they both had a small first wave followed by a stronger second wave.
Fresno County’s latest COVID-19 report shows 58.0 adjusted new cases per 100,000 population. The positivity rate and health equity quartile positivity rate have both gone down to 15.3 percent and 17.9 percent respectively.
However, the county continues to stay in the Purple “Widespread” Tier and that there is still a long way to go to reach Red “Substantial” Tier.
Serpa mentioned he is unsure if the state is still tracking ICU availability for the region. The state recently lifted the Regional Stay-at-Home order due to the four week projections for ICU availability.
Vaccines are currently limited due to low supply, according to Serpa. He mentioned the only people who are getting vaccinated are residents who need the second shot, law enforcement, and certain Ag groups.
Serpa reported there will be no new shipment of the vaccine for Fresno County until Feb. 15.
In closing, Serpa gave the council data on the city’s rate of infection. He also talked about how some people believe the city was a major cause of the county’s high number of infections.
Serpa stated he received calls from residents blaming the city’s approach in enforcing the health order. Some residents believe the number of infections are high in the county because the City of Clovis does not enforce the health order.
However, Serpa gave data proving that since the beginning of the pandemic, Clovis has had the least number of infections of all the cities in Fresno County. He also said the average in the city is lower than the county and the state in the rate of infections.
“Our relaxed enforcement towards these health orders isn’t causing the problem.” Serpa said.