Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Public Health Announces Six New Positive Cases of COVID-19, Bringing the Total to 27

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 5:20 PM

Public Health announced today that it has recorded six new positive COVID-19 cases.

Humboldt County's number of COVID-19 cases continued to climb yesterday, as Public Health announced three new positive cases. Today's announcement brings the county-wide total to 27. All but one of those have been reported in the last 11 days, including news last week of Humboldt County's first COVID-19 related hospitalization. (Officials have declined to release any information about the hospitalized patient or their condition.)

HUMBOLDT COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
  • Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services
Humboldt County Public Health workers are conducting extensive contact investigations to determine when and how they became infected.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Humboldt County has spiked sharply since the second positive test was reported March 20 in someone who had recently returned from traveling in a "high-risk" country. (The county's first positive test was announced Feb. 20 in someone who'd just returned from China and has since recovered.)

On March 24, the county announced three additional cases, including positive tests from two members of a group that had recently returned from international travel. The following day, it announced five additional positives, all related to the same traveling group. Two more tests came March 28, followed by four more March 28 and three on March 30.

To date, the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory has processed 364 tests, while corporate laboratories have processed an additional 332 samples. Public Health reports it has supplies on hand locally to conduct another 750 tests.

Statewide, California has recorded 6,932 positive cases and 150 deaths related to COVID-19.


Basics of COVID-19
The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, state that symptoms of novel coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Emergency warning signs needing immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to awaken, and bluish lips or face.

In an emergency situation: Call ahead to the emergency room or inform the 911 operator of the possibility of a COVID-19 infection and, if possible, put on a face mask. St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial hospitals have opened tents on their campuses to begin screening patients who have “significant” symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus. The general hours of operation for the tents is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. but that is subject to change.

Symptoms or possible exposure: In the case of a possible exposure with symptoms — fever and cough or shortness of breath — contact your doctor’s office or the county Department of Health and Human Services, which has a hotline that can be reached during business hours at covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at hhsphb@co.humbldt.ca.us or at (707) 445-6200.

St. Joseph Health has also set up a virtual assessment tool as an aid to assess risk factors for contracting the illness, which can be found at www.providence.org/patients-and-visitors/coronavirus-advisory.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has started a rumor-control webpage that can be found here.
For the Journal's latest COVID stories, updates and information resources, click here.

See the full press release copied below:



Three cases of COVID-19 were confirmed today, bringing the total to 27 local cases since the outbreak in Humboldt County began.

The method of transmission for these new cases is under investigation.

Following the updated shelter-in-place order and social distancing guidelines continue to be the most effective way to prevent spread of COVID-19. Read the updated order here: humboldtgov.org/DocumentCenter/View/84939/Shelter-in-Place-Order-signed-033020







  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Arcata Fire District Will Close One of its Fire Stations April 1

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 2:44 PM

Firefighters at the scene of a fatal apartment fire in the 100 block of Samoa Boulevard on Feb. 2. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARCATA FIRE DEPARTMENT
  • Photo courtesy of the Arcata Fire Department
  • Firefighters at the scene of a fatal apartment fire in the 100 block of Samoa Boulevard on Feb. 2.

The Arcata Fire District is closing one of the three fire stations in its area of service tomorrow as a result of the voters defeating Measure R, a special property tax that would have increased the district's budget by $2.2 million and allowed for maintaining current staffing levels and rebuilding depleted reserve funds.


“The failure of Measure R comes with layoffs and demotions to critical frontline personnel of the fire district,” reads the press release from AFD.


The Arcata Fire District Board of Directors will rotate station closures weekly to evaluate which station will permanently close.

Source: Arcata Fire Department - © 2020 NORTH COAST JOURNAL / SHUTTERSTOCK
  • © 2020 North Coast Journal / Shutterstock
  • Source: Arcata Fire Department

“Unfortunately, due to station closures and the rise in overlapping calls for service,

we may be delayed getting to your emergency. With our District covering 62 square miles, this means potentially waiting significantly longer to receive our services when you are in need. Please, when you need our service, call 911 EARLY,” the release states.

However, the department is emphasizing that the safety of the community is its top priority. 


Read the full release below:


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Blue Lake Rancheria Delivers Meals to Tribal Elders During COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 1:00 PM

BLUE LAKE RANCHERIA
  • Blue Lake Rancheria

The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe’s Elder Nutrition Program is delivering three weeks' worth of meals to the 70 tribe elders enrolled in the meal program amid the COVID-19 outbreak.


“We know coronavirus poses a greater threat to the elderly,” Jason Ramos, Blue Lake Rancheria tribal council member, said in a press release. “So we are determined to safely deliver food to elders, so they can shelter-in-place at home and not worry about their next meal.”


According to the release, more than 12,000 meals have been prepared and stored for delivery later this week. The tribe is delivering meals from Rio Dell to Weaverville.


The food program is also seeing an increase in demand as members of other organizations and tribes in the area can be added to the list of food deliveries.


“We are really pulling together our resources to take care of the elderly, who especially depend on us right now,” Arla Ramsey, the tribe’s vice-chairperson said in a press release.


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Public Health Announces Two Community Transmission COVID-19 Cases (VIDEO)

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 11:41 AM

Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff William Honsal talk COVID-19 at last night's virtual town hall meeting. - COURTESY OF DHHS
  • Courtesy of DHHS
  • Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff William Honsal talk COVID-19 at last night's virtual town hall meeting.

Humboldt County has recorded its first cases of community transmission of the COVID-19 virus, Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich announced at a virtual town hall meeting moderated by the Journal last night.

Frankovich said contact investigations in two recent positive cases failed to find the patients had any contacts with other people confirmed to have the virus or that they had traveled outside the local area, leading investigators to believe they contracted COVID-19 from an unknown source within the community.

“We must all acknowledge the fact that while case counts are incredibly important for monitoring this pandemic, everyone must assume that COVID is circulating within their own city or town, and act accordingly,” Frankovich said. “The measures we have been advocating remain critically important: staying at home unless you must go out for an essential need; staying at home when you’re ill until you have been without fever for three days without use of [fever reducing medicine], have had improvement in your symptoms and have had at least seven days since the onset of your symptoms; wash your hands frequently and well; use hand sanitizer when that isn’t available; cover your coughs and sneezes; clean commonly used surfaces.”

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, March 30, 2020

New Shelter-in-Place Restrictions Include Ban on Tourist Rentals, Golf Games

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 6:22 PM

Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich (left) and Public Health Director Michele Stephens discuss COVID-19 at a press conference earlier this month - SCREENSHOT
  • screenshot
  • Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich (left) and Public Health Director Michele Stephens discuss COVID-19 at a press conference earlier this month
Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich issued new shelter-in-place requirements today, including limits on hotel rooms and short-term rentals, as well as golf course closures and a ban on playing team sports.

The announcement came on the same day Sheriff William Honsal declared a local emergency.

Among the other updates in Frankovich’s new order are prohibitions on hiking trails that don’t allow for 6 feet of separation or other outdoor activities that put people within the recommended spacing. And no more self-serve options at any establishment providing food, such as salad bars or bakery goods, that can’t be washed by the consumer before consuming.

The order, effective at midnight March 31, also bans hotels, motels, campgrounds, vacation rentals and other temporary residences from renting to non-county residents except under certain circumstances, including travel for essential services.

Most of the other requirements remain the same as an earlier order, such as a ban on public or private gatherings and the allowance of  essential business to remain open.

To read a version of the order that shows the changes in red, click here.

Find the full release below:
Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich issued an updated Health Order further clarifying and enhancing the Shelter in Place requirements for county residents.

The updated order addresses county residents’ concerns regarding tourists visiting the area, prohibiting short-term rental properties, including hotels, vacation rentals and campgrounds, from renting to non-County residents.

Additionally, the order further limits activity in parks and other outdoor recreational areas that facilitate public gathering. The order clarifies the definition of essential businesses, recognizing those businesses that support the County’s response to COVID-19 and eliminating the exemption for businesses that “supply products which would enhance the quality of life.”

This updated order will remain in effect until rescinded by the Health Officer. Read the updated order here
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Humboldt County COVID-19 Cases Now at 21

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 6:20 PM

Public Health announced this evening that it has recorded three new positive COVID-19 cases.

Humboldt County's spike in COVID-19 cases continued Saturday, with Public Health announcing four new positive cases. Today's announcement brings the county-wide total to 21. All but one of those have been reported in the last 10 days, including news last week of Humboldt County's first COVID-19 related hospitalization. (Officials have declined to release any information about the hospitalized patient or their condition.)

HUMBOLDT COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
  • Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services

Investigations remain ongoing into how the latest patients contracted the virus, with Public Health workers conducting extensive contact investigations to determine when and how they became infected.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Humboldt County has spiked sharply since the second positive test was reported March 20 in someone who had recently returned from traveling in a "high-risk" country. (The county's first positive test was announced Feb. 20 in someone who'd just returned from China and has since recovered.)

On March 24, the county announced three additional cases, including positive tests from two members of a group that had recently returned from international travel. The following day, it announced five additional positives, all related to the same traveling group. Two more tests came March 26, followed by two more March 27 and four on March 28.

To date, the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory has processed 328 tests, while corporate laboratories have processed an additional 216 samples. Public Health reports it has supplies on hand locally to conduct another 700 tests.

Statewide, California has recorded 5,763 positive cases and 135 deaths related to COVID-19.


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Sheriff Declares Local Emergency Amid COVID-19

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 5:19 PM

Sheriff William Honsal - HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Humboldt County Sheriff's Office
  • Sheriff William Honsal
Sheriff William Honsal today declared a local emergency in response to the coronavirus, a move described as a proactive step to allow the county of Humboldt “to request all available response and recovery assistance from state and federal agencies.”

“[T]he imminent threat posed by aforesaid conditions warrant and necessitate the proclamation of a Local Emergency to enable the County of Humboldt and other local government entities to adequately plan, prepare and preposition resources to be able to effectively respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and to warn Humboldt County residents and visitors of the threat posed by COVID-19 and enable them sufficient time to plan and prepare,” he says in a release.

The local emergency declaration is for seven days, which the board of supervisors can extend.

Things have escalated quickly on the region’s coronavirus front, which saw its first confirmed case in mid-February. The latest available numbers from Public Health today showed 21 active cases, up three from Saturday's numbers, several of which were under investigation as to transmission cause.


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Redwood National and State Parks Close Parking Lots, Recommend Virtual Tours

Posted By on Sun, Mar 29, 2020 at 4:22 PM

If you've been scanning the list of Redwood State and National Parks to see which ones still have open parking lots, you can stop now. They're all closed, effective immediately. Hikers, walkers and cyclists are still welcome, just not their cars. Also, campgrounds, visitors centers and bathrooms remain closed.

According to a press release, the closure of parking lots is an effort "to support federal, state and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)." Even in the great outdoors, it turns out, the parks, their lots and trails were getting crowded, making it difficult or impossible for visitors to maintain the necessary 6 feet of physical separation recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
Still from a virtual old growth tour. - YOUTUBE
  • YouTube
  • Still from a virtual old growth tour.
Instead, the release states, "The National Park Service and California State Parks encourage people to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Redwood National and State Parks on our webpage." This includes links to YouTube for virtual tours of old growth groves and more that you can scan your way around as a friendly guide tells you all about the environs. We looked at them and the tours provide effective virtual forest bathing for stress relief but may not fool your fitness tracker.

Read the full press release below:

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Saturday, March 28, 2020

COVID-19 Spike Continues with Four New Positive Cases

Posted By on Sat, Mar 28, 2020 at 7:33 PM

HUMBOLDT COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
  • Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services
Humboldt County's spike in COVID-19 cases continued Saturday, with Public Health announcing four new positive cases, bringing the county's tally to 18.

Public Health said the source of infection for the four additional cases is currently under investigation, as are the county's three previous positive cases, and investigators will work through the weekend. The county has now recorded 17 positive cases since March 20.

The announcement comes after two additional cases were reported Friday, which followed two positives Thursday and news of Humboldt County's first COVID-19 related hospitalization. (Officials have declined to release any information about the hospitalized patient or their condition.)

Investigations remain ongoing into how the latest patients contracted the virus, with Public Health workers conducting extensive contact investigations to determine when and how they became infected.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Humboldt County has spiked sharply since the scone positive test was reported March 20 in someone who had recently returned from traveling in a "high-risk" country. (The county's first positive test was announced Feb. 20 in someone who'd just returned from China and has since recovered.)

On March 24, the county announced three additional cases, including positive tests from two members of a group that had recently returned from international travel. The following day, it announced five additional positives, all related to the same traveling group. Two more tests came Thursday, followed by two more Friday.

To date, the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory has processed 305 tests, while corporate laboratories have processed an additional 165 samples. Public Health reports it has supplies on hand locally to conduct another 550 tests.

Statewide, California has recorded 4,643 positive cases and 101 deaths related to COVID-19.


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Unemployment Claims hit Record Levels with COVID-19 Shelter Orders (Video)

Posted By on Sat, Mar 28, 2020 at 12:39 PM

The number of Californians filing for unemployment benefits eclipsed the state’s highest number on record, dating back to the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Experts fear that the worst is yet to come, especially for sectors of the economy still reeling from the state-ordered closure of non-essential businesses to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic


The California Employment Development Department announced Thursday that unemployment claims reached 186,809 for the week ending March 21. The week before, it was more than 58,000 claims. For context, in all of March 2019, there were 40,000 new unemployment claims in the state. The prior weekly record of 115,462 was set in January 2010 at the height of the Great Recession.

“It is all hands on deck to deal with this historic claim load,” EDD deputy director Loree Levy told CalMatters in a live broadcast on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a day before the EDD released the number of claims for California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said 1 million Californians had filed claims since the pandemic.

The EDD counts processed claims, while Levy described Newsom’s number as “an estimate” of all claims submitted, whether they had been processed yet or not.

Levy said her department expects the numbers to continue to break records.

“We can’t make predictions,” Levy said. “We continue to receive historic levels of claims on an ongoing basis. We’re looking at all kinds of strategies [to process claims] on a daily basis.”

Locally, the Times-Standard reported Thursday that an economic damage assessment conducted by the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services found that local businesses had lost an estimated $2.7 million in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 disease and the associated shelter-inlace order, leading to the loss of more than 700 local jobs. Eight local businesses have also been forced to close, the paper reported.

The California Bureau of Labor Statistics had to recompose its weekly jobless claims graph because Thursday’s numbers dwarfed previous jobless numbers.

A Washington Post-ABC News nationwide poll found that about a third of people have been laid off or had an immediate family member laid off. Another half reported a cut in work hours or pay for someone in their family.

On March 15, Newsom ordered all bars in the state to close, creating the first ripple in a tidal wave of state-ordered closures of all non-essential businesses. Employees from a variety of industries found themselves out of work or having their hours significantly reduced.

Now unemployed people are worried about making their April rent. Levy said that claims are usually processed within three weeks, but she could not guarantee that the same timeframe will hold true during the pandemic.

“I don’t think any state has ever been prepared for an economy to come to a standstill like it has,” Levy said. “We know these payments got to get out to people as soon as possible.”

The state has taken steps to ease the financial burden on the unemployed, chiefly by waiving the one-week waiting period to collect benefits. For those who qualify, their first payment should be for two weeks instead of the typical one week.

Unemployment insurance is paid by employers, so the pot of money from which recipients collect does not come from the state directly. If the claims exceed the unemployment insurance fund and the state becomes insolvent — as it did during the Great Recession — the state will likely take a loan from the federal government.

“As long as someone is [entitled to benefits], they’ll receive them,” Levy said. “It’s just a matter of what it will cost the state in the long run” to pay back a federal loan.

The Associated Press reports that the number of jobless people in the U.S. has already exceeded the height of the Great Recession, which lasted from 2007 to 2009, although the economic impacts hit California the hardest in 2010.

According to Labor Department records — which date back to 1967 — the largest seasonally-adjusted one-week number of new unemployment claims was 695,000 in October, 1982. Back then, the unemployment rate was about 10 percent.

New unemployment claims in California reached more than 375,000 in January 2010, the highest monthly total on record. Three of the top-five highest months came during the Great Recession. The other two months with the most claims came during the recession of the early 1990s.

Before the onset of the pandemic, the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, a 50-year low. The current rate has not been calculated.

CalMatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Recent Comments

socialize

Facebook | Twitter

© 2020 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation