Coronavirus

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.

Kern Medical / Kern County

This week Governor Gavin Newsom announced a program to bring more professionals into the medical field, including students and retirees. Bakersfield College also announced a similar pipeline to help its upper-level nursing students finish their education.

Shantelle Rubio is one of them. When she heard that her school was moving online to reduce the spread of COVID-19, she was stunned.

Courtesy of Faith in the Valley

For most people, rent is due the first of the month. The city of Fresno passed an ordinance that allows renters to cite the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for not paying rent this month, but the burden of proof is on the tenant. 

Eleven States Don't Track Or Reveal COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Mar 27, 2020
American Public Media

The worst-case scenario for COVID-19 is that hospitals become overwhelmed with patients. If too many people become seriously ill too fast, there won't be enough ICU beds and ventilators for everyone who needs them, public health officials nationwide are warning, which could cause many more deaths from the virus.

Gena Lew Gong

We’ve recently asked our listeners for audio postcards about how the pandemic is affecting them. Today, we’re going to hear from poet Lee Herrick and writer Lisa Lee Herrick who sent a voice memo from their home.

We also hear from Bakersfield resident Randy Villegas who is sheltering in place. Clovis resident and Fresno State lecturer Gena Lew Gong starts us off with a voice memo describing the threats and racism many Asian-Americans are experiencing right now.   

On this week’s Valley Edition: With COVID-19 cases growing at exponential rates, how are local governments, hospitals and nonprofits dealing with the pandemic? We find out how the virus is shaping preparedness plans in the short and long term.   

And we share personal accounts of how the coronavirus is impacting the lives of the Valley’s residents, and how they’re coping.  

Plus, a single mother of two who is living in a homeless shelter with her family gives us some words of hope.

 

Fresno County Jail (file photo)

It’s hard to practice social distancing when you’re in jail and the close quarters increase the risk of contracting the coronavirus. That’s why one Fresno attorney is trying to get his vulnerable client out.

Armando Toro, 62, has diabetes and high blood pressure. These pre-existing conditions put him at a higher risk of becoming severely ill if he’s infected. 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

As COVID-19 case numbers rise, one Fresno-based company has pledged $100,000 to help with grocery shopping.

Volunteers from Bitwise Industries have made close to a hundred trips in Fresno, Madera and Tulare Counties delivering groceries and medications to elderly and immune-compromised people. Vice President Terry Solis said it’s part of the company’s new “Take Care” initiative.

 

Solis said she’s taking the necessary hand-washing and social distancing precautions.

The Fresno Unified School District and all Fresno County Public Library branches are temporarily closed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. But despite those closures, one Fresno librarian is still bringing story time to her students, via the web.

On this week's Valley Edition: With children home from school and concern about COVID-19 on the rise, how do parents protect the mental health of their kids? We talk to pediatric psychologist Dr. Amanda Suplee for some guidance.

We also speak with Fresno County Director of Behavioral Health Dawan Utecht, UCSF Fresno emergency room physician Dr. Manavjeet Sidhu, and University of California, Merced economist and professor Ketki Sheth to answer some of the mental health, physical health and economic questions sent in by listeners about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tower Yoga Website

As residents and business owners take on the city of Fresno’s “shelter in place” recommendation, which went into effect Thursday, many are turning to the web to keep their services going. 

The city released a list of “Essential” and “Non-Essential” businesses. Officials are advising residents to cease trips to non-essential businesses, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Grocery and hardware stores made the “Essential” list, but bars and hair salons did not. 

Madi Bolanos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As state and local officials advise older Americans to stay indoors and away from crowds amid coronavirus concerns, supermarkets are working to accommodate their needs. 

 

This week, Vallarta, an American supermarket chain that caters to Latino customers,

Valley Children's Hospital

 

With children home from school and concern about COVID-19 on the rise, how do parents protect the mental health of their children?

According to Valley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Psychologist Dr. Amanda Suplee, honest communication, using age-appropriate language and building a strong routine in the home are some ways to support the emotional life of children during these uncertain times.

Madi Bolanos

The city of Fresno issued a voluntary shelter in place order Wednesday to go into effect Thursday at midnight. Residents are being asked to leave their homes for essential services only.  

Fresno County Public Library Facebook

Many public and private establishments across the San Joaquin Valley are closing temporarily in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This comes after increasing recommendations from federal, state and local officials to maintain social distancing.

Fresno, Tulare and Kern Counties have closed all of their library branches. Fresno’s libraries will be closed until April 14; Kern County libraries will be closed until April 13; and Tulare County libraries will be closed until the end of March. However, patrons can continue to use online library resources. 

Ezra David Romero / KVPR

The spread of COVID-19 is forcing many people to work from home, but for farmworkers that’s not an option.  

Take Eucebia and Alejandro; the couple asked to go by their first names only. They have three kids and no savings. In the past two weeks, they’ve been asked to leave two picking jobs, first in almonds, then in grapes. The second job at Fowler Packing only lasted two days before the contractor told them to leave.

“She said that there wasn't going to be any work, that everything had been canceled,” Eucebia said. 

Stephanie Erikson

The National Park Service announced that while Yosemite remains open, its visitor centers, hotels and restaurants are now closed in response to COVID-19 concerns.

 

Scott Fiester with the Mariposa Chamber of Commerce said the temporary closures in Yosemite are the latest blow to Mariposa businesses already reeling from sharp travel declines in response to COVID-19.

 

Updated at 8:53 p.m. ET

West Virginia is no longer coronavirus-free.

It was the final state without any reports of infection by the highly contagious coronavirus, but on Tuesday evening Gov. Jim Justice announced officials have confirmed the state's first case.

"We knew it was coming," Justice said at a news conference.

"We've prepared for this and we shouldn't panic. We should be cautious. We should be concerned, but we shouldn't panic. We ought to be West Virginia mountaineer strong always," he added.

As a writer, Lily Burana already spends a lot of time working alone at home, about an hour outside New York City. And as an extrovert, Burana says she relies on her social network to balance out the lonely hours.

"It's really hard, because at the end of the day, I look forward to shutting my laptop and taking my daughter to a playground, or going shopping, or meeting a friend at a museum, or having a coffee," Burana said. "And all of those things have to be tabled for now, out of a sense of obligation to not turn myself into an accidental vector."

Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET

The European Union is locking down its borders, imposing a 30-day entry ban on nonessential travel for non-EU citizens to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the measure Tuesday night, saying people in the member nations can still move freely between those countries.

The ban went into effect immediately.

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