Thursday, May 28, 2020

Third Humboldt County Resident Dies of COVID-19

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 5:04 PM

Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory staffer Alyssa McCloud catalogs incoming samples for testing. - PUBLIC HEALTH
  • Public Health
  • Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory staffer Alyssa McCloud catalogs incoming samples for testing.
Another Humboldt County resident has died of COVID-19, according to Public Health.

Public Health sent out a press release this afternoon announcing the death, the county's third to date, all of them residents at Alder Bay Assisted Living, which has seen a total of seven staff members and seven residents test positive for the virus.

The release states the individual was "very elderly" and previously tested positive for COVID-19.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said, “Our thoughts are with the resident’s loved ones.”

The county also announced today that laboratory testing confirmed no new cases of the virus a day after four additional cases were confirmed, bringing the county's total to 98.

Yesterday's four new cases, all of which were acquired through contact with another known case, continued a spike that had seen 44 new cases confirmed since May 9.

Today's results came after the county Public Health Laboratory processed 31 samples and corporate labs reported results from another 21, for a total of 52. To date, 5,922 local residents have been tested for the virus, according to Public Health, about 4.3 percent of the population. Roughly one in 60 local tests have come back positive.

Nationally, as of yesterday, about 4.6 percent of the population has been tested, with roughly one in nine tests coming back positive for a total of 1.7 million confirmed cases, including 99,031 fatalities. Statewide, as of yesterday, 4.3 percent of the population has been tested, with roughly one in every 17.5 cases returning positive for a total of 96,733 confirmed cases, including 3,814 deaths.


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Eureka Offers Free Café Permits

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 4:19 PM

In support of restaurants offering dine-in service with the state and OSHA requirements for social distancing, the city of Eureka is offering free permits for café tables and chairs on sidewalks. Patio and indoor seating are allowed starting Friday, May 29 for those businesses with safety plans already approved by the Office of Emergency Services.

Read the full press release below:

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Police Incident Blocked Traffic on 7th, One Detained

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 3:33 PM

MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
UPDATE:
A subject has exited the house and been searched and detained.

PREVIOUSLY:
A reportedly armed man who had refused to leave a 7th Street apartment has exited the building and is being detained.

Just before 3 p.m., a woman reported being choked in an apartment building on the 1300 block of 7th Street and said that her assailant, a man, had an assault rifle, according to information a dispatcher relayed to Eureka Police officers over the scanner.

The woman left the apartment and was being assisted by law enforcement. The man called emergency dispatch from the apartment and said he did not have a rifle, the dispatcher told officers. He offered to show pictures of the woman choking herself through the window but will not exit unless officers have a warrant.

Law enforcement is on the scene and the incident caused traffic to be blocked on 7th Street. 


MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna

MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna

MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
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UPDATED: Rescue Underway Near Trinidad

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 3:25 PM

At approximately 1:45 p.m., an emergency dispatcher sent Arcata Ambulance and Westhaven Fire Department to travel out the main trail off the parking lot “east of the beach” in the College Cove area near Trinidad.

The dispatcher said they had received two reports of a 22-year-old male that had fallen about 15 feet “possibly into the water.”

UPDATE 2:43 p.m.: A rescue swimmer is in the water, according to the incident commander speaking over the scanner.

UPDATE 3:16 p.m.: The swimmer is still in the water.

UPDATE 3:40 p.m.: A staticy transmission from the Incident Commander on the scene appears to state that the Coast Guard has been released from the incident and the swimmer is out of the water.

UPDATE 4:16 p.m.: According to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Paul Savona, “We received a report of an adult male into the water from the trail at College Cove [about 1/45 p.m.]” Savona said that crews have been looking for the victim. “We did not locate anyone as of yet,” he told us.

California Park Chief Bill Salata told us that they were sent to the scene with the report that “a male dressed in black fell off the rocks.” Life guards went into the water. Salata said, “Searchers found a black beanie.” However, they were unable to find a victim.

“County Sheriff is working with the reporting party who was with the victim,” he explained. “The Coast Guard is continuing on scene with the search.”
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Betty Chinn's Homeless Foundation Receives Grant to Care for Pets

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 1:02 PM

Betty Chinn - FILE
  • File
  • Betty Chinn
The Betty Kwan Chinn Homeless Foundation announced today that it has received a $200,000 grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, Pet Assistance and Support Program to help house, feed and provide basic veterinary service to the pets of its clients.

Chinn, who spent much of her childhood living alone in a garbage dump during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution after her mother was jailed and her siblings sent off to labor camps due to her parents' wealth and Christian beliefs, has operated one of the few West Coast shelters to allow animals.

“Betty has long recognized the importance that some homeless individuals attach to their companion animals,” the release states. “Dogs provide emotional support, companionship, warmth and security to people living in the street. However, they also present a significant barrier to services because many shelters do not allow dogs, and this prevents some of the chronically homeless from accessing case management services geared toward regaining their self-sufficiency.”

Read the full release from the foundation below:

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Public Health: COVID-19 Tests Only a 'Snapshot in Time'

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 12:16 PM

Public health officials are reminding Humboldt County residents that while a negative COVID-19 is good news, it’s only a “snapshot in time” and not an all-clear sign.

Community members are eligible to be retested every 14 days, which is especially recommended for first responders, healthcare workers, those in the service sector — such as restaurant and grocery store employees — and anyone who has interaction with the public on a regular basis.

Testing is available to the general public by appointment by visiting https://lhi.care/covidtesting or call 888-634-1123.

For more information, watch the video below:
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Dine-in Approved Restaurants Can Open Friday. Will They?

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 10:51 AM

Tuesday the county cleared restaurants with safety plans approved by the Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center to open for dine-in service as soon as Friday. A list of those restaurants is below and being updated daily on the county's website here, much like the list of retailers approved for walk-in business on the same page. However, not every restaurant on the list is making the jump just yet.

The booths at Campground, where diners will be seated starting Friday, May 29. - PHOTO BY AMY KUMLER
  • Photo by Amy Kumler
  • The booths at Campground, where diners will be seated starting Friday, May 29.

Meredith Maier of Six Rivers Brewery put together a plan for her restaurant to follow not only state and OSHA guidelines, like masks for staff and tables 6 feet apart, but a set of house rules, including only admitting those 21 and over, seating at only five tables and offering counter service as opposed to full dining service. But Six Rivers won't be seating diners on Friday. And it won't until the staff unanimously agrees it should.

“We’ve been having lots of staff meetings from the beginning,” she says. “What’s everyone’s level of comfort? ... I don’t want people coming to work and feeling scared. I want them to feel we’re doing what’s right for us and right for them and keeping their friends and family and our customers safe and healthy.”

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Arcata Fire: Suspicious Morning Blaze that Nearly Spread to 8 Businesses Shows Dangers of Current Staffing, Station Closures

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2020 at 7:38 PM

arcata_fire_district.png
The Arcata Fire District is calling an early morning vehicle fire that came close to spreading to eight businesses “human caused and suspicious in nature.”

According to a news release, the close proximity of the responding station to the fire at 11th and N streets played a major role in staving off extensive damage.

“This is a good example of why we have fire stations strategically placed and why it is important to have those stations staffed with full-time career firefighters,” Battalion Chief Sean Campbell said in the release. “The quick response from the Arcata Station is what allowed us to quickly extinguish this fire and save almost $3 million in property. This fire would have been inside of the business in another minute.”
At the end of March, AFD announced it would shut down one of its stations as a result of Measure R being defeated at the ballot box. The special property tax would have increased the district's budget by $2.2 million and allowed for maintaining current staffing levels and rebuilding depleted reserve funds.

Instead, Campbell said, the district now has to operate with dangerous staffing levels.

“It is absurd that we are fighting a commercial structure fire with only four on duty firefighters. We had a fifth firefighter respond off duty and we had mutual aid coming in another 10-15 minutes,” Campbell said. “This level of staffing is dangerous. Every day we are rolling the dice on community and firefighter safety.”

The Arcata Downtown Fire Station, which responded, will temporarily be closed from May 27 to June 3 due to budget cutbacks related to the failure of Measure R, which has stations closing on a rotating basis.

The district estimates this morning’s fire caused about $10,500 in damage while nearly $3 million in property was saved. No one was injured.
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Times-Standard: County Tourism Leaders Talk No Travel Advisory

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2020 at 7:30 PM

County officials have advised potential tourists against taking a trip to Humboldt right now. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • County officials have advised potential tourists against taking a trip to Humboldt right now.
The Times-Standard spoke with local tourism bureau representatives, who said they are respecting local officials’ pointed notice to potential out-of-town visitors that now is not the time to make a trip to Humboldt County.

The Southern Humboldt Business & Visitors Bureau website does have a COVID-19 note at the top, which states that for the “health and well-being of our community with limited resources, we are adhering to all county and state guidelines.”

There is also the message: “Our redwood giants have waited thousands of years to see you they can wait until this passes.”

A similar statement was not immediately evident on the Humboldt County Humboldt County Visitors Bureau’s website.

Read the Times-Standard story here.
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Eureka, Garberville DMV Offices Set to Reopen

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2020 at 5:25 PM

dmv.png
Eureka and Garberville among the 46 Department of Motor Vehicle field offices scheduled to reopen to the public Thursday, according to a news release.

The hours will be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of opening at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Residents are still encouraged to use online and other services other than in-person when possible, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals.

To find out more, visit the DMV website here and here.
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