COVID-19

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

 

A new report from researchers and community-based organizations released Monday shows Indigenous farmworkers across California lacked information and resources to protect themselves during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Amber Crowell, Emma De La Rosa, Kerry Klein and Ian Sharples

The Central Valley’s reputation as an affordable place to live has been challenged by skyrocketing housing prices. To learn what is behind the sharp increase in home and rental prices, and what this means for the ongoing affordable housing crisis, Valley Edition host Kathleen Schock spoke with Amber Crowell, associate professor of sociology at Fresno State; Manuela Tobias, housing reporter for CalMatters; Emma De La Rosa, policy advocate with the Leadership Council; and Ian Sharples, housing program manager for the Community Action Partnership of Kern. 

 

Sharrah Thompson lives on the second floor of an older apartment complex in central Fresno. Downstairs, dogs in a neighbor’s yard that is separated by a chain link fence won’t stop barking.

“It's not an area you want to live in, but if you got to and you need a roof over your head, definitely, obviously it's going to be cheaper,” she says.

Outside her building, a crime scene investigation vehicle pulls up and parks on the street. A police officer talks to people in a nearby home. 

Fresno County Library Pinterest

The West Fresno Regional Center is designed to be a one-stop-shop for social services in a community where many are reliant on public transportation. But community activists claim that Fresno County eliminated many of the services once available, forcing people to find rides or take long bus trips to Clovis, where the county consolidated many social services. Fresno County, however, claims it’s actually expanded services in West Fresno.

Madi Bolanos / KVPR

A D.J. blasts music across the McLane High School campus in east Fresno. In the cafeteria nearby, medical professionals are administering the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s all part of the Fresno Unified School District’s new effort to bring vaccine clinics to students and their families.

www.drdavidsine.com

The surge of the Delta variant of COVID-19 has created new risks for children, especially those with special needs. To better understand the risks, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with Dr. David Sine, medical director for the pediatric palliative care program at Valley Children’s Hospital. 

On this week’s Valley Edition: We continue our podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool. This week: the heroes, big and small, who helped more than 200 campers survive being trapped by the Creek Fire.

 

Plus, the strain on local hospitals as they cope with the latest surge of COVID-19.   

And a never-before seen art exhibition is headed to the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 

UCSF Fresno, American Ambulance, Sierra View Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center websites

Yet again, Central Valley hospitals are overflowing with COVID-19 patients, which has stretched our medical systems thin and created disturbing consequences for anyone in need of critical care. To learn more about how hospitals are coping with the most recent surge, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with Donna Hefner, president and CEO of Sierra View Medical Center in Porterville, Dr. Danielle Campagne, medical director of American Ambulance, Dr. Robert Ferdman, assistant chief of hospital medicine at Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center, and Dr.

ERIC PAUL ZAMORA EZAMORA@FRESNOBEE.COM

Six-year-old Bryce Moore shouts from one side of the small soccer field where he is practicing for his first game. His mom, Fresno resident Jennifer Moore, describes him as a happy, go-lucky kid. But nine months ago he was anything but that, she says. 

Moore and her husband tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2020. She says Bryce, then 5 years old, tested negative and didn’t show any symptoms associated with the virus. 

 

 

Raisin City Elementary School officials on Tuesday sent the eighth grade classroom home after three students tested positive for COVID-19. Some parents in this rural Fresno County community of 414 people have been concerned about the school district’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

Healthy Fresno County facebook page

Coronavirus infections are now spreading faster in the San Joaquin Valley than in any other region of the state. And as hospitals reach critical capacity, health officials are warning that patient care is at risk.

 

Laurel Rosenhall

Gov. Gavin Newsom has less than three weeks to convince voters to keep him in office, and recent polls indicate that the electorate is almost evenly split. To learn the latest on the recall, and why Latino voters could decide the election, Kathleen Schock spoke to Calmatters political reporter Laurel Rosenhall.

US Forest Service / Inciweb

Last year, the western states were hit with a double-whammy of natural disasters: Not just the COVID-19 pandemic, but also a historically long and intense wildfire season that blanketed the region with plume after plume of noxious smoke.

Mariposa County Public Health Facebook page

In the last month, Mariposa County has surged from one of the state’s lowest rates of new COVID-19 cases to one of its highest. As a result, county supervisors recently approved mask and vaccine mandates for county employees.

 

The school bell is ringing, signaling the end of the first day back at school at Lowell Elementary near downtown Fresno. Parents gather just outside the gates of the campus, eagerly waiting to pick up their children. Some stand under the shade, while others wait in a line of cars. Slowly, students begin filing out of class.

The once-empty playground is now filled with kids and the bustle of parents and siblings arriving to pick their student out of the crowd. 

epuchildren.org

This week the Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted to extend funding for the Disability Equity Project, a coalition of six local organizations that serve individuals and families living with a wide-range of disabilities. For the past year, these organizations have worked in partnership to help their clients through the pandemic. Exceptional Parents Unlimited, which supports children with special medical and developmental needs, has served as the project’s lead agency.

BETH LABERGE

As the Delta variant continues to spread throughout the San Joaquin Valley, so do calls from public health officials to increase vaccination rates. But as KQED’s Central Valley reporter Alexandra Hall has learned, the reasons why some are avoiding the shot can be more complicated than many think. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with her about what she’s found.

Courtesy of JMFdeA Press

 

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve relied not just on the medical providers based at our local hospitals, but also traveling nurses who move from place to place, filling in wherever help is needed. 

 

  

One such nurse, Grover Nicodemus Street, is a military veteran based in Colorado. So far during the pandemic, he has served in five different states, ranging from major population centers like New York City and Miami to the rural town of Tehachapi. He recently published a book about traveling from COVID hotspot to hotspot called Chasing the Surge.

 

 

On the next Valley Edition: Access is not an issue, so what is stopping some Tulare County residents from getting the COVID-19 vaccine? 

Plus, Black entrepreneurs share how they are overcoming bias and racism within the wine industry.

And we hear from a travelling nurse who wrote a book about his pandemic work. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 


 

JOHN WALKER JWALKER@FRESNOBEE.COM / Fresno Bee

It’s a hot Tuesday afternoon in Tipton. Residents from across southern Tulare County stop at the unincorporated community’s only minimart to pick up food or to cash their checks. 

Junior Toscano, 29, works in agriculture and lives in Tipton. He walks out of the minimart without a mask and he says he doesn’t have the COVID-19 vaccine either. 

“My mom is always telling me to get it but I just haven't done it,” he says. 

And he isn’t the only one in the predominantly Latino zip code that isn’t eager to get vaccinated.

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