Friday, March 27, 2020

Humboldt COVID-19 Cases Climb to 14, with Two Additional Positives Announced Today

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 6:01 PM

click to enlarge COVID-19 testing in the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory. - COURTESY OF THE HUMBOLDT COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
  • Courtesy of the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services
  • COVID-19 testing in the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory.
Humboldt County Public Health confirmed two additional local COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county's total to 14.

Earlier today, Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said two cases confirmed late yesterday are not related to an international traveling group tied to seven of the county's cases to date. She said her department is still conducting a contact investigation, trying to determine where the patients may have come into contact with someone carrying the disease.

Frankovich also said the county's fifth case — which officials feared had been the county's first case of community transmission, meaning the source of infection was unknown — has been traced back to contact with another known case.

To date, more than 400 locals have been tested for COVID-19, with 14 tests returning positive. The Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory reports it currently has supplies on hand to conduct about 600 tests, with capacity to process 40 samples a day and an approximate turnaround time of 48 hours.


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:

March 27, 2020 - Two Additional COVID-19 Cases Confirmed

Two additional cases of COVID-19 were confirmed today, bringing the total to 14 local cases since the outbreak began. Cases 11 through 14 are currently under investigation, with additional information expected next week.

Case number five, confirmed on March 24, has been found to be a contact of another case and is therefore not an example of community spread.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said ongoing investigations are extensive and time consuming, involving numerous individuals. “These results have implications,” she said, “and we want to get them right.”

A shelter-in-place order remains in effect in the county through April 9. For current information about COVID-19, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by emailing covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.

Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19,
Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19,
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19, and
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert
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Thadeus Greenson

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Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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