Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Humboldt County at a COVID-19 Crossroads, County Health Officer Cautions

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 4:45 PM

click to enlarge PUBLIC HEALTH
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Public Health reported no new confirmed COVID-19 cases today after a spike last week pushed the county’s total to 133.

According to a news release, 82 cases were contracted through a known case, 28 via travel and 23 were from community transmission, meaning the person who tested positive had no known contacts to another case and had not traveled outside the local area.

Areas across the nation and in California are seeing rapid increases in not only the number of cases but hospitalizations and many are stepping back on reopenings.

“As we watch what is happening across the state and even in our community, I think it is important for our community to recognize that we are at a crossroads,” County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said. “We can embrace the use of all the preventive measures we have, such as use of facial coverings and social distancing; we can choose not to gather with people outside our household, even extended family members; our business owners can follow the safety plans they have developed for the benefit of their employees and their customers, or we can choose to pretend that this pandemic is not real and increase risk for our friends and neighbors. It is really that simple.”

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 the county's release below:

No additional cases of COVID-19 were reported today. Humboldt County’s case count remains at 133.

The means of transmission has been determined for all known cases. Of the 133 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, 23 were acquired through community transmission, 28 were acquired through travel and 82 contracted the virus through contact with a known case.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich emphasized the importance of personal responsibility in containing COVID-19.

“As we watch what is happening across the state and even in our community, I think it is important for our community to recognize that we are at a crossroads,” she said. “We can embrace the use of all the preventive measures we have, such as use of facial coverings and social distancing; we can choose not to gather with people outside our household, even extended family members; our business owners can follow the safety plans they have developed for the benefit of their employees and their customers, or we can choose to pretend that this pandemic is not real and increase risk for our friends and neighbors. It is really that simple.”

“Every time you leave home without a facial covering or choose to gather households for a party or crowd into a restaurant or bar, you are making a choice that may impact your entire community,” Frankovich said. “At this time, it is more important than ever that our choices serve to make us more rather than less safe.”

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. 
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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