Monday, April 13, 2020

Public Health Announces No New COVID-19 Cases, Urges Continued Vigilance

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 5:35 PM

click to enlarge Testing supplies in the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory. - COURTESY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
  • Courtesy of Humboldt County Department of Health and Human services
  • Testing supplies in the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory.

For the sixth consecutive day — and just the sixth time since March 23 — Public Health announced that there have been no new positive COVID-19 test results today.

The county has reported 50 COVID-19 cases to date, with the majority — 28 — coming in a six-day period from March 30 to April 6. But the rate of positive tests has tapered sharply over the past week, with a combined five announced for April 5 and April 6, one April 7 and none since.

In a press release, Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said the county could be seeing the effects of social distancing and its shelter-in-place order.

"Our last positive result was a week ago," she said. "It's important to remember that the virus has not disappeared, we have simply made it much more difficult to spread."

She urged residents to stay the course.

"I know we are all eager to move forward and ease some of the restrictions in place," she said. "Any move to ease shelter-inlace regulations can only be done with solid information and planning."

Frankovich and Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal have repeatedly stressed the importance of local residents respecting the letter and spirit of the county's shelter-in-place order, staying in their homes and limiting essential outings, practicing social distancing measures and wearing facial coverings when they do have to leave home. The hope, Frankovich explains, is that these measures will slow Humboldt County's infection rate to the point that the number of active cases at any time — and the number of critically ill patients — does not overrun the local healthcare system, which has very limited capacity.











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, runny nose 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 the testing report copied below:

April 13, 2020 - No Additional Cases Confirmed Today
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 7pm ; Saturday 10am to 5pm Opens in new window
No new positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed again today, marking the sixth consecutive day without a new case in Humboldt County.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said the county could be seeing the effects of social distancing and the Shelter-in-Place Order. “Our last positive result was a week ago,” she said. “It’s important to remember that the virus has not disappeared, we have simply made it much more difficult to spread.”

Frankovich added that the Shelter-in-Place Order continues to be an important part of Humboldt County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I know we are all eager to move forward and ease some of the restrictions in place,” she said. “Any move to ease shelter-in-place regulations can only be done with solid and informed planning.”

The following information is based on the most recent data available for all confirmed cases:

Contact to a Known Case: 23
Travel-Acquired: 20
Community Transmission: 7
Under Investigation: 0
For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.

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 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 is 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.

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

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

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