Thursday, August 20, 2020

Public Health Confirms Nine New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2020 at 4:44 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed nine new COVID-19 cases today, making 33 so far this week and bringing the countywide tally to 342.

Today's cases were confirmed after 447 samples were processed with a positivity rate of 2 percent. They continue a recent surge in the local caseload that has seen 109 cases confirmed so far this month, eclipsing July's total of 100 cases with 11 days remaining in the month. Of Humboldt's 342 cases, 61 remain active.

In a press release, Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich thanked everyone in the local community doing their best to slow COVID-19's spread.

“Overall, our friends and neighbors here in Humboldt are taking this virus seriously and have done a good job following the facial coverings order, physical distancing and other safety measures," she said. "I want to say thank you to everyone who has made this commitment to protect the health of our entire community. It will only improve Humboldt County’s outcomes in this pandemic.”
Three of the new cases announced this week were confirmed in Humboldt State University students returning to on-campus housing in preparation for the school's Aug. 24 start of online instruction and the limited beginning of in-person classes Sept. 8. The university plans to move nearly 800 students into on-campus dorms and apartments this week and plans have all of them tested while asking them to voluntarily quarantine for 14 days. It's not currently clear how many of the students have been tested at this point, and how many test results remain pending.

An email exchange released late last week indicated HSU was proceeding with plans despite the objections of Health Officer Teresa Frankovich, who felt they were unsafe given the state of COVID-19's spread locally.

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.

To date, 20 people in Humboldt County have been hospitalized with COVID-19, including four who died, all residents at Alder Bay Assisted Living.

Nationally, more than 5.5 million COVID-19 cases have been officially confirmed to date with 172,416 fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Those include 644,751 cases and 11,686 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.

Five new cases were reported today, bringing to 325 the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus.

August 20, 2020 - Nine New Cases Reported Today
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
Since diagnosing its first case of COVID-19 six months ago today, a total of 342 Humboldt County residents have tested positive for the virus. Nine additional cases were reported today.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said, “Overall, our friends and neighbors here in Humboldt are taking this virus seriously and have done a good job following the facial coverings order, physical distancing and other safety measures. I want to say thank you to everyone who has made this commitment to protect the health of our entire community. It will only improve Humboldt County’s outcomes in this pandemic.”

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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