Monday, August 17, 2020

Public Health Confirms 11 new COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2020 at 4:40 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 11 new COVID-19 cases today, reporting results from samples tested since Friday.

Today's tally comes on the heels of 27 new cases reported last week and brings this month's tally to 87 after the county saw 100 cases confirmed last month. To date, the county has recorded 320 cases, which have included 20 hospitalizations and four deaths.

In a press release, the county reported that people ages 20 to 29 represent the largest proportion of local cases, representing about 22 percent of local infections, or one in every five confirmed to date. Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in the release that this age group plays an important role in limiting spread of the disease.

“Young adults are an important part of our workforce in health care, food service, retail and other industries that our entire community relies on,” she said. “If you feel ill, stay home and call your provider or call the Joint Information Center to find out about testing options. It truly takes every one of us to keep our community as safe as possible.”

The high prevalence of transmission among younger residents locally is especially noteworthy as Humboldt State University began welcoming students back to on-campus housing this weekend despite Frankovich's warnings that the university should postpone its partial re-opening of campus because it's not currently safe.

Within two days of moving onto campus, one student has test positive for COVID-19, the university reports. Read more here.

Today's case report comes after 647 samples were tested, with 11 returning positive for a positivity rate of 1.7 percent. Of the 320 people who have contracted the virus locally to date, 263 have since recovered. Fifty-three cases remain active.

A total 196 cases (61.3 percent) were the result of a person coming into contact with another known COVID-19 case, while another 74 (23.1 percent) were contracted through travel and 47 cases (14.7 percent) are believed to be the result of community transmission, meaning investigators couldn't find evidence of contact with a known case or travel outside the area and believe the virus acquired locally through an unknown source. Three cases remain under investigation.

The increasing number of cases this month has prompted public health to raise the "Effectiveness of Disease Control" to level three on the county’s Alert Level Assessment Tool.

Nationally, more than 5.4 million COVID-19 cases have been officially confirmed to date with 169,350 fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Those include 628,031 cases and 12,242 deaths in California, according to the Department of Public Health.

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.
August 17, 2020 - Eleven Cases Reported Since Friday
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
Humboldt County’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases now stands at 320, after 11 new cases were reported since Friday.

According to the most recent data, the 20 to 29 age group represents the largest number of cases, at 22 percent or one in five local infections. Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said this group plays an important role in limiting spread of COVID-19.

“Young adults are an important part of our workforce in health care, food service, retail and other industries that our entire community relies on,” Dr. Frankovich said. “If you feel ill, stay home and call your provider or call the Joint Information Center to find out about testing options. It truly takes every one of us to keep our community as safe as possible.”

Today’s alert level stands at three or level orange. Visit humboldtgov.org/dashboard to view the county’s 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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