Monday, July 20, 2020

Public Health: Eight New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 4:37 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed eight new COVID-19 cases today, making 56 so far this month, the most in any month since the pandemic began.

The eight new cases come after the county saw 16 — and another hospitalization — confirmed last week. To date, the county has seen 189 local cases. Today's cases also included the first confirmed case of community transmission — meaning the person is believed to have caught the virus from an unknown source in the local community — since June 17.

Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich noted in a press release that while this is the first reported case of community transmission in more than a month, it is important to be mindful that COVID-19 is circulating locally.

“We have had cases in all regions of our county, and we have people traveling in and out of our county, so it is good to assume that when you are out of your home you may encounter someone with COVID-19. The possibility of this exposure will only increase with time,” she said.“No matter where you live or work, you can be as safe as possible by following all preventive measures like proper hand washing, use of face coverings and social distancing.”

She added that contacts that occur outdoors are safer than those indoors just as brief contacts that occur with a face covering in place and at a distance of 6 feet lessen risk of transmission.
Today's results came after 375 tests were processed and follow Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement Friday further tightening shelter-in-place restrictions for vast swaths of the state, ordering that schools remain shuttered in counties on the state's COVID-19 watch list until counties are off the list for 14 consecutive days. The list — which tracks infection rates, hospital capacity and public health's ability to limit the spread of outbreaks — does not currently include Humboldt County, though officials warned last week that case spikes have put it in jeopardy of being added.

On July 13, Newsom announced one of the first major walk-back of post shutdown re-opening in the country, ordering all bars to shutter and restaurants, movie theaters, zoos, museums and wineries to cease all indoor operations.

The county unveiled a new "overall alert level" risk assessment tool as a part of its dashboard last Thursday, putting the county at "Level 2," which means "moderate risk — moderate number of cases with majority of cases from a known source. Increase efforts to limit personal exposure." The levels stretch from 1 —("New normal — cases are somewhat sporadic, and contact tracing can be used to control the virus") to Level 4 ("Very high risk — widespread outbreak that is growing with many undetected cases."). Watch Humboldt County Deputy Public Health Officer Josh Ennis explain the assessment in the video here.

Nationwide, 3.8 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, including 140,157 fatalities, as cases are surging with an average of more than 60,000 new cases confirmed daily over the past week. California, meanwhile, which saw a single-day record 11,126 new cases confirmed July 14, has now recorded 391,538 cases (including almost 7,000 announced today) and 7,694 fatalities.

To date, 17 local residents have been hospitalized with COVID-19 at some point in their care, including four people who died of the disease, all residents of Alder Bay Assisted Living.

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 and view its case dashboard here:
July 20, 2020 - Eight New Cases Reported Today
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 7pm Opens in new window
Eight new cases of COVID-19 were reported today, bringing to 189 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. Today marked the first case of community transmission since June 17. Some cases remain under investigation.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich noted that while this is the first reported case of community transmission in more than a month, it is important to be mindful that COVID-19 is circulating within our county. “We have had cases in all regions of our county, and we have people traveling in and out of our county, so it is good to assume that when you are out of your home you may encounter someone with COVID-19. The possibility of this exposure will only increase with time,” she said.

“No matter where you live or work, you can be as safe as possible by following all preventive measures like proper hand washing, use of face coverings and social distancing,” Dr. Frankovich said. She added that contacts that occur outdoors are safer than those indoors just as brief contacts that occur with a face covering in place and at a distance of six feet lessen risk of transmission.

Today’s alert level stands at a two. Visit humboldtgov.org/dashboard to view the Data Dashboard and Alert Level Assessment tool.

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.


Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/dashboard,
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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