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Growing Costs And Shrinking Revenues Squeeze Hospitals As They Brace For Coronavirus

As many cities and regions of the country brace for a surge of coronavirus patients over the next few weeks, hospitals are scrambling to get ready. The increase in costs to convert beds, buy equipment and increase staffing time in order to care for critically ill COVID-19 patients is adding up at a time when revenues are down. And the resources they have to turn to may vary, depending on the demographics of the patients they serve. "We are very concerned," says Dr. Anish Mahajan, chief...

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Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

What do you do if your printing business is suffering because of COVID-19? Well for one Fresno business, employees are going with the times.

Dumont Printing is still dealing in its usual trade: signage. But instead of company mailers and event announcements, it's making "Keep Distance" decals.

“Immediately we started selling social distancing floor graphics to try and help the small business who is still open and has blue tape on their floor,” said Susan Moore, Dumont’s president and owner. 

Screenshot OnwardCa.org

Bitwise Industries got a shout-out from Governor Gavin Newsom Thursday as he announced relief for small businesses. The Fresno-based tech company is creating a resource for those laid off due to the pandemic: OnwardCa.org

Fresno Convention Center

The Fresno Convention Center is the new site for an emergency field hospital, the county announced Friday. The effort is to take pressure off of local hospitals by treating COVID-19 patients whose cases are less severe. 

“At the end of the day we need to make sure our hospitals are kept open for those who need critical care the most,” said Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig. 

The county’s original plan was to use the fairgrounds but the state rejected that site because it did not meet current building codes. 

Courtesy of Angela Christiano

We recently asked a few students for audio postcards about how the pandemic is affecting them. Today, we’re going to hear Selma High School senior Mia Salinas who says she’s missing out on prom, her final season of track, and the chance to say good bye to her teachers and friends.

We also hear from Fresno State student Julianna Mazziliano. She’s in her second semester as a liberal studies major and works two jobs, both of which have cut hours due to the pandemic. She says she “didn’t pay $7,000 a year at Fresno State to just sit at home.” 

A team of public media reporters are gathering information from California health departments every day to keep you updated on the latest confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19. This dashboard provides a localized look at COVID-19-related cases and deaths in your county, as well as a risk assessment for your county’s population.

 

 Disclaimer & Data Sources

 

 

What’s it like to be on the frontlines of medicine during a pandemic? FM89’s News Director Alice Daniel got a firsthand account from Dr. Patil Armenian. She’s an associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at UCSF Fresno and she works at Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno. 

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: Lawyers are pushing to get their at-risk clients out of detention centers before they get sick with COVID-19. We hear about one woman’s unexpected journey.  

We also talk to educators about the challenges of distance education especially among the Valley’s most vulnerable students. And we hear from a few students about how school from home is going for them.

Later, we talk to an emergency room doctor about what it’s like to be on the frontlines. 

Fresno State

Nearly two weeks after the coronavirus forced Fresno State to transition to virtual instruction, FM 89's Kathleen Schock spoke to Bryan Berrett, Fresno State's director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, about how students and faculty are adapting.  

  

On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom placed an executive order restricting water shutoffs retroactively from March 4th. That’s good news, community advocates say, but it doesn’t help those whose water was already shut off. 

Jonathan Nelson is the Policy Director for the Community Water Center. He says Newsom’s   order will help people who are worried about paying future bills. But what about those whose water has been shut off for over a month?

As state and local officials continue to stress the importance of social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, lawyers across California are joining forces to get their at-risk clients out of ICE detention centers, including the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Facility in Bakersfield.

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Tracking California's Coronavirus Cases

A team of public media reporters are gathering information from California health departments every day to keep you updated on the latest confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19. This dashboard provides a localized look at COVID-19-related cases and deaths in your county, as well as a risk assessment for your county’s population. Disclaimer & Data Sources Age data provided by the 2018 American Community Survey. Disease data provided by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's...

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