In-Depth

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.   

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. 

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.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Unified Supt Bob Nelson announced Monday that while schools remain closed, meals will continue to be served. 

“The last thing that will go down at Fresno Unified is feeding kids every day,” said Nelson at a press conference.

Every school site offered meals Monday, but Nelson said the district is monitoring where families are picking up meals and will consolidate meal distribution sites, starting Wednesday. 

As the number of coronavirus cases grows in the U.S., we're hearing a lot about how social distancing, self-monitoring and even quarantine play into containment efforts.

But what do those terms mean, and when do they apply?

We asked experts and found out there is some overlap and lots of confusion.

Here's a quick guide for what you need to know.

Q: Why is all this happening?

Fresno County

Fresno County confirmed a second case of COVID-19 Saturday evening. Both cases identified so far have been travel-related. In a press conference Sunday, a county health official said the department is also monitoring up to 70 individuals, to track symptoms. While the risk of community transmission is still low, the best defense is to practice good hygiene: wash hands, avoid large crowds, and stay home if you’re sick. 

Updated on March 16 at 1 p.m. ET to reflect new guidance on play dates during school closures. This is an evolving story and guidance from health authorities is evolving quickly.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer will be the city’s next mayor, according to Wednesday afternoon’s election results from Fresno County. In a press conference before City Hall Wednesday, Dyer reiterated his wish to unite the city, and create “One Fresno,” which was his campaign slogan.

In his remarks, Dyer highlighted the need to bring investment and business to the area. Dyer wasn’t specific about where he plans to prioritize development, but said the city can only be as prosperous and successful as its worst neighborhood.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Young Artists Spotlight we feature four talented musicians from Bakersfield performing in a string quartet. All of the students in this ensemble attend Stockdale High School in Bakersfield and are members of the Bakersfield Youth Symphony. 

Performers:
Brian Shih, violin
Ian Kim, violin
April Park, viola
Anna Jian, cello

Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from the Bonner Family Founation. 

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

 

Polls show candidates Andrew Janz and Jerry Dyer are neck and neck. And that race, along with other local races, could be decided next Tuesday. If one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, there’s no runoff in November. But do people know that? 

We spoke with several Valley residents at a local Fresno farmers market - and many were unaware of Tuesday’s primary and its significance.  However, one Clovis man who is not eligible to vote said he finds the whole system baffling. 

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