COVID-19: Clovis At All Time Low

Clovis City Manager Luke Serpa reported that COVID-19 cases in Clovis has been in the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic. (CR Photo)

The City of Clovis COVID-19 numbers continues on a downward trend not seen since the first month of the pandemic as the state’s June 15 reopening inches closer.

Clovis City Manager Luke Serpa presented the Clovis City Council with the latest COVID-19 updates at the June 7 meeting.

“On the graph, we are down to levels that we have not seen since the first month of the pandemic,” Serpa said while presenting the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

According to the graph, the number of confirmed cases to date totals 101,957, but recently the total has only increased by 0.04% — or 40 new cases. The recent trend has led to days with reported single-digit confirmed cases and even days with zero cases in late May.

Despite numbers reaching new lows, the number of vaccinated people has plateaued at the state and local levels.

According to vaccination rates broken down by zip codes, 93611 has 55.4%, 93612 has 40.2% and 93619 has 61.5%. All of the percentages are lower than the statewide average number of people with at least one dose.

Serpa said that the City is continuing to promote vaccinations around town. In addition, he will be working with Community and Economic Development Director Andrew Haussler on ideas to encourage vaccinations in harder-to-reach areas.

“It [vaccinations] have plateaued. We are seeing a plateau countywide, statewide and nationwide,” Serpa said. “It appears that most of those who want a vaccine have received the vaccine.”

As the targeted state reopening date approaches, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last Friday that the state would continue to be categorized in a state of emergency.

Although he is unsure what the state’s plan is, Serpa believes that leaving the state of emergency in place allows the state to react after June 15 if the numbers begin to surge and it decides to shut down again.

Serpa said there is room for resurgence, especially with only half the people in the state either only receiving one dose of the vaccine or not being vaccinated at all.  Additionally, all schools reopening in the fall could contribute to a resurgence.

Serpa says that Clovis’ state of emergency declaration will also remain alongside the state’s order.

The City is also continuing to monitor the ongoing Cal/OSHA discussion of employee regulations for the businesses and government entities.

As it currently stands, mask mandates will be discarded once the reopening takes place.

However, due to stringent rules required by Cal/OSHA, businesses may still have employees wearing masks and social distancing unless an employee provides documented proof of vaccination.

Serpa says that the City is receiving mixed messages regarding regulations provided by Cal/OSHA.

The Cal/OSHA board is holding an emergency meeting on Wednesday to reconsider information, but the announcement didn’t detail what information the board will discuss.

“Hopefully, there’s going to be some consistency in the messaging,” Serpa said. “That has been a problem throughout this pandemic [and] a source of confusion.”

Anthony De Leon is a journalist who started his career in 2017, covering sports for the Fresno City College Rampage, earning his Associate Degree in the process. He then moved on to Fresno State, working for The Collegian serving as Sports Editor, Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in print journalism. In August, he will begin attending Reynold’s School of Journalism Master’s program at the University of Nevada, Reno.