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Fresno County Public Health Town Hall Addressed Testing Availability, COVID-19 In Winter

Fresno County Department of Public Health Facebook
The Fresno County Department of Public Health held a virtual town hall Friday on Facebook Live and invited other medical professionals to talk about their experience dealing with this disease and adjusting to it.

In lieu of its regular media briefing Friday, the Fresno County Department of Public Health held a virtual town hall where community members could submit their own questions about the coronavirus. The meeting was live-streamed on Facebook. 

One person asked via the comments how to get a test if they’re uninsured. Dr. Rais Vorha, interim health officer for the County, said that based on his understanding and the federal government: “The testing will be covered, that shouldn’t stop you from getting tested.”

He announced that the County plans to roll out a map of test-sites, so residents won’t have to go far if they need one. He also advised calling 2-1-1, the United Way help line.

When asked about the seasonality of COVID-19, UCSF professor Dr. Eyad Almasri said the county should prepare for waves of the virus.  

“I think we will have probably increased levels of respiratory illnesses throughout the summer and maybe another peak in early winter months,” said Almasri. He added that this has been the case with similar viruses.

Others asked when testing will come to rural communities, or if the county will roll out antibody testing. Vohra said he hopes they will do both, and the county is already partnering with health providers outside the city of Fresno to test those communities.

Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.
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