Tuesday, April 7, 2020

One New COVID-19 Case Brings County Tally to 50

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2020 at 4:30 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 got some good news this afternoon — or at least better news than we've been growing accustomed to.

Public Health announced just one new person tested positive for COVID-19 today and there have been no new hospitalizations, a welcome reprieve in a span that has seen 48 positive cases over the past two weeks, bringing the county tally to an even 50

While the number 50 represents a sharp spike over the course of two weeks, with 48 of those positive cases coming over the span of 14 days and 29 of them over the previous eight, today's sole positive case also brings some hope that Humboldt County’s efforts to slow spread of the virus may be bearing fruit. The positive test left the county with a three-day average of two cases per day, less than half the average of the prior six days, a span in which the county saw 27 positive tests returned, more than doubling its caseload.

In an April 6 presentation to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich explained flattening the curve and slowing the rate of infection provides Humboldt County’s best chance to weather the coming COVID-19 storm, which is why the county has taken some aggressive measures to halt the virus’ spread. Those ramped up last week, when county officials modified an existing shelter-in-place-order, declared a local emergency, advised local schools to remain shuttered through the week and on April 5 urged residents to wear facial coverings when out in public.

Frankovich said the hope is that these measures would be successful in delaying intense local caseloads, potentially leaving the area with a longer period of COVID but keeping it from hitting the “high velocity” of cases that would overwhelm the local healthcare system. (More on capacity issues below.) That would also leave hope, she said, for the possibility that by the time Humboldt County sees peak infection rates, other areas of the state and country would be emerging from the virus’ worst, allowing them to help Humboldt with additional resources, from equipment and healthcare workers to expertise.

See the county's full press release copied below:


April 7, 2020
COVID info
Total new positive cases confirmed on April 7: 1

Daily COVID-19 case report for April 7

Total number of positive cases: 50
Total number of hospitalizations: 3
Total number of people tested by Public Health Laboratory: 646

Total number of people tested by all other sources: 543
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health and commercial labs)

The Public Health Laboratory currently has a capacity of approximately 500 tests and can process about 50 samples a day with an approximate turnaround time of 48 to 72 hours.

For the most recent information about COVID-19, visit CDC.gov or CDPH.ca.gov. For local information, visit humboldtgov.org, call 707-441-5000 or email covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us.

Notes on patient and demographic data

To protect the identity of people with COVID-19, their specific location of residence will not be disclosed. The Humboldt County Public Health Branch is legally responsible for protecting personal health information, including residence address, specific age, recent travel, the identities and locations of any contacts, the provider of medical treatment, the course of illness and any other information that might identify an individual with or exposed to the virus unless it serves the interests of public health to do so.

Although we understand it is of interest to residents, providing location and other demographic information to the general public does nothing to slow the spread of illness. Humboldt County is experiencing untraceable person-to-person transmission, also known as “community spread,” and there is no place that can be considered safe. To reduce your chances of acquiring or spreading COVID-19, avoid travel, wash your hands, keep yourself and your environment clean, follow the shelter-in-place order, and do not leave home for any reason unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.

The following case information is provided daily Monday through Saturday:

New positive cases
Total positive cases to date
Total hospitalizations to date
Total Public Health Lab tests to date
Total commercial lab tests to date
Public Health Lab test capacity, total and daily, and estimated turnaround time
Transmission data
traveler-acquired
contact to known case
community transmission
under investigation
Additional information will be provided each Friday:

Regional data
currently measured by percentage in densely populated area
soon to be represented instead by region after minimum thresholds of positive cases per region have been reached
Gender
Mean age
Test rates and positive test rates relative to the State of California.

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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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