Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Public Health Confirms Nine New COVID-19 Cases, Matching Single Day High

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:03 PM

click to enlarge PUBLIC HEALTH
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Humboldt County Public Health announced today that it has confirmed nine new COVID-19 cases, the largest single-day case spike in more than two months.

The nine new cases — which came after just 125 tests were processed today — make 12 confirmed so far this week, and 17 since June 12. Today's case spike matches the highest in any single day in Humboldt County since the Pandemic began, as the county also recorded nine positive cases back on April 2.

“While these new cases appear to primarily reflect contacts with previously reported cases, the only way to prevent wider spread is to focus on prevention measures,” Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a press release, adding that Public Health, the Emergency Operations Center and community partners have done an “excellent” job of building up the county’s response capacity. “We’ve expanded testing, established an alternate care site and trained teams of contact tracers. Now it’s up to each one of us to limit spread of this virus by following those safety measures like physical distancing and wearing facial coverings that we’ve all been following since the outbreak began."

To date, 69 of Humboldt County's cases are believed to trace back to a known contact with someone confirmed to have the virus, 26 are believed to have been acquired through travel out of the area and 23 are believed to be the result of community transition, meaning the person who tested positive had no known contacts to another case and had not traveled outside the local area. The origins of four cases remain under investigation. To date, 14 people have been hospitalized locally with COVID-19 and four have died, all residents at Alder Bay Assisted Living.

Nationally, as of June 23, roughly 8.6 percent of the population has been tested, with an average of one in 12 tests returning positive for a total of 2.3 million cases, including 120,333 fatalities. In California, approximately 8.9 percent of the population has been tested with an average of one in 19 tests returning positive, for a total of 183,073 cases, including 5,580 deaths. But numbers in California have been rising sharply in recent days, with the state hitting a record number of hospitalizations on June 23, with 3,702 hospitalized patients, including 1,199 under intensive care, eclipsing even the worst days in the state’s previous peak in late April. And health officials increasingly believe social gatherings are to blame for the spike.

After Sacramento reported 108 new COVID-19 cases over a two-day period, health officials there said 105 were traced to private gatherings in homes, from graduation and birthday parties to barbecues and memorial services. In Shasta County, health officials have linked at least a dozen confirmed COVID-19 cases to a “large family gathering” attended by a man in his 20s who was confirmed to have the virus days later.

Humboldt County’s numbers have been good compared to state and national figures — about 6.6 percent of the population tested with roughly one in 75 tests returning positive — and Frankovich stressed in  March 23 presentation to the Board of Supervisors she believes that’s largely due to aggressive mitigation measures, like the shelter in place and mandatory facial covering orders, and contact tracing. The county moved quickly to expand the ranks of its contact investigators, Frankovich said, which has allowed Public Health, as soon as a local resident is confirmed to have COVID-19, to work quickly to find the people they have been in contact with, ensuring they self quarantine, slowing the spread of the disease locally. Frankovich explained that’s why local cases have come in gentle waves, increasing steadily over the course of a week or two before slowing until the next wave.

Humboldt County Public Health is urging residents who aren't experiencing symptoms to get tested free of charge at the mobile testing site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. (People experiencing symptoms should contact a healthcare provider, officials say.) Asymptomatic individuals can make an appointment to be tested by visiting https://Lhi.care/covidtesting or calling (888) 634-1123. Tests will be administered free of charge, whether or not people have health insurance.

Basics of COVID-19


The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, state that symptoms of novel coronavirus include cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell.

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.

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 here.

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.


Read today's report below.

Humboldt County’s COVID-19 case count rose to 122, as nine additional cases were reported today. This marks the largest single-day increase in cases since April 2, when nine cases were also reported.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said, “While these new cases appear to primarily reflect contacts with previously reported cases, the only way to prevent wider spread is to focus on prevention measures,” adding that Public Health, the Emergency Operations Center and community partners have done an “excellent” job of building up the county’s response capacity.

Dr. Frankovich reiterated that personal responsibility will determine the county’s COVID-19 outcomes going forward. “We’ve expanded testing, established an alternate care site and trained teams of contact tracers. Now it’s up to each one of us to limit spread of this virus by following those safety measures like physical distancing and wearing facial coverings that we’ve all been following since the outbreak began,” she said.

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.

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

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New confirmed COVID-19 cases: 9

Total confirmed cases: 122
Total recovered cases: 103
Total deaths: 4
Total hospitalizations: 14
Transmission information for all known cases

Contact to a Known Case: 69
Travel-Acquired: 26
Community Transmission: 23
Under Investigation: 4
Number of tests run since last report

Public Health Laboratory: 61
OptumServe public testing site: 64
Total tests run to date

Public Health Laboratory: 4,105
OptumServe public testing site: 4,178
Willow Creek public testing site: 42
Public Health Laboratory testing Information

Supply capacity: Approximately 1,900 tests
Testing capacity: 70 samples per day
Turnaround time: 24 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.

What do these numbers mean?

New confirmed cases of COVID-19—the number of test-confirmed positive cases since the previous report.
Total confirmed cases—the number of test-confirmed positive cases since the pandemic began, including people who have recovered from the illness.
Total recovered—the number of confirmed cases who are no longer in isolation, meaning they have met Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for release, including absence of fever for at least three days without use of fever-reducing medicine, improvement in symptoms and have had 10 days or more since onset of symptoms.
Total deaths—the number of people who have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Total hospitalizations—total number of people with confirmed cases of COVID who have been hospitalized since the pandemic began, including people who have been released.
Number of tests run since last report—number of tests run since the most recent reporting period.
Public Health Laboratory— number of tests performed at the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory since the most recent reporting period.
OptumServe—number of tests performed at the OptumServe testing site in Eureka since the most recent reporting period.
Willow Creek public testing site—number of tests performed at the Verily testing site in Willow Creek since the most recent reporting period.
Total tests run to date—total number of tests run to date.
Public Health Laboratory—total number of tests performed to date at the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory.
OptumServe—total number of tests performed to date at the OptumServe test site in Eureka.
Willow Creek public testing site—total number of tests performed to date at the Verily testing site in Willow Creek since the most recent reporting period.
Public Health Laboratory test capacity—the approximate number of testing kits that are complete and ready to be administered. This number is decreased by testing and increased as additional supplies are acquired.
Public Health Laboratory turnaround time—the estimated amount of time it takes per testing run. Each run can include up to 20 samples; multiple batches can be run each day.
Transmission data
travel-acquired—nationally, internationally or regionally
contact to known case—an individual found to have been in direct contact with someone who tested positive for the virus
community transmission—spread without travel or known contact to any other confirmed case
under investigation—confirmed case whose means of transmission has not yet been determined.
Regional data—the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 per region. The three reporting regions of Humboldt County are:
Northern Humboldt— extends south from Humboldt’s County’s border with Del Norte County (North) to Highway 299 (South).
Greater Humboldt Bay Area—extends south from Highway 299 (North) to Highway 36 (South).
Southern Humboldt—extends south from Highway 36 (North) to Humboldt County’s southern border with Mendocino County.
Gender—the gender of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Total cases, shown by percentage.
Mean age—the average age of all the individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Average age is calculated by adding all the ages of individuals together and dividing by the number of cases.
Age Range—the number of total individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 grouped by age.
Test rates and confirmed case rates relative to the State of California—the number of tests performed per 100,000 people. The number of tests performed are provided by the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE), which includes all resulted tests performed by the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory, OptumServe public test site, LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, CDPH, the CDC and point-of-care devices. Population estimates are based on data from the United States Census Bureau. Rates per 100,000 are calculated by dividing the total number of tests performed by the population of the jurisdiction and multiplying the result by 100,000.
Confirmed case rates relative to the State of California—the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people. Test results are provided by CalREDIE, which includes tests performed by the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory, OptumServe public test site, LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, CDPH, the CDC and point-of-care devices. Population estimates are based on data from the United States Census Bureau. Rates per 100,000 are calculated by dividing the total number of confirmed cases by the population of the jurisdiction and multiplying the result by 100,000.
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 Friday:

New confirmed cases
Total confirmed cases to date
Total recovered cases to date
Total deaths to date
Total hospitalizations to date
Number of tests run since last report
Number of Public Health Lab tests since last report
Number of OptumServe tests since last report
Total number of tests to date
Number of Public Health Lab tests to date
Number of OptumServe tests to date
Public Health Lab test capacity, total and daily, and estimated turnaround time
Transmission data
travel-acquired
contact to known case
community transmission
under investigation
Additional information is updated each Friday:

Regional data
Gender
Mean age
Age range
Test rates and positive test rates relative to the State of California and the United States.
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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