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Whiplash As Fresno County Businesses Face Closures, Again – COVID-19 Update For Oct. 9

Healthy Fresno County Facebook Page
Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra addresses a possible retreat back into the most restrictive "purple" tier in the state's reopening plan during a media call on Oct. 6, 2020.

Last week, Fresno County businesses celebrated that the county had advanced into the red, less restrictive tier of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan. Then, this past Tuesday, they learned that they may be forced to close back up again, as early as next week, if the county’s case rate doesn’t improve. A Kern County administrator warned the same could happen to its residents if they let their guard down too soon.

How can this whiplash happen, and what’s the reopening status of the other counties in our region? In this COVID-19 update, we explain the basics of the tiered reopening plan known as theBlueprint for a Safer Economy, featuring excerpts from media calls with Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra and Kern County Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop.

Here’s a snapshot for Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties (note that some numbers may have changed between the interview and publication): 


As of Oct. 8: 

For comparison, as of Oct. 1: 

  • 1,330 deaths out of 98,402 cases
  • 269 people hospitalized and 52 in ICUs
  • In the last week, 44 people succumbed to the disease
  • Average cases reported daily in the last week: 283

You can always find up-to-date information for your county here.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.