COVID-19 Update: Fresno County Cases up to 351

The Fresno County Department of Public Health reported an additional 36 cases of COVID-19 on Monday April 20, bringing the county’s total to 351.

The new report marks the highest jump in cases between updates since the FCDPH began keeping track of the disease in March. The last update was released Saturday, April 18.

None of the new cases were reported in Clovis, however, as the city’s number of cases remains at 32. The City of Fresno saw a significant increase, with 189 confirmed cases total.

Out of the total number of cases, 121 were community spread or originated from an unknown source, 41 were travel related, 113 were spread by close contact and 76 are still under investigation.

The number of deaths remains at seven.

The county also saw a jump in the number of recoveries. Health officials say 105 have recovered from the disease, that’s an additional 20 from the data that was reported on April 18. Seventy-three have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the crisis began.

According to the FCDPH, 5,149 tests have been conducted in Fresno County. But county interim health officer Dr. Rais Vohra said that number should be much higher.

He said the county should be testing about 1,500 people for COVID-19 each day, which is about six to 10 times more than the amount of tests the county currently conducts. The county tests about 150 to 250 people each day.

Vohra refrained from calling the lack of testing a “failure” however, as that the county is still working to secure more testing materials.

“That was really an eye opener,” Vohra said about learning that the county should be doing more tests. “I thought we were doing really well with our 4,000 tests here in the county… but I think it is good to get that feedback to say look, we’re not done yet.”

“It would be a failure if we stopped trying right now. And we’re definitely not going to do that,” he continued.

Vohra said the county is short on Q-Tips, which are needed to take samples from patients.

“What it’s going to take is to boost up the supply chains in every step of this process. We have labs that are ready to go, we have people that have PPP ready to go, we have staff that are trained up,” Vohra said. “The only things that are limiting us right now is that we don’t have enough of those Q-Tips, those swabs, which seems like a really silly shortage, but it is really legitimate as a reason why we’re not able to test more people.”

Ron Camacho
Ron Camacho was born and raised in Clovis. He attended Clovis High School and graduated from CSU Fresno in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and Journalism. Before joining the Roundup, Ron wrote for Pollstar Magazine and the Sanger Herald. He has a deep appreciation for the arts and is a lover of music, cinema and storytelling. When he’s not busy looking for his next story, Ron enjoys taking weekend expeditions to the beach or mountains to practice landscape photography.