Thursday, August 27, 2020

North Coast Air Quality PSA

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 4:26 PM

View from the fire base camp in Orleans of the smoke from the complex. - FOREST SERVICE PHOTO BY PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER JACOB WELSH
  • Forest Service photo by Public Information Officer Jacob Welsh
  • View from the fire base camp in Orleans of the smoke from the complex.
Most Humboldt County areas will see "good" to "moderate" air quality, with possible periods of "unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups" according to a North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District release.

According to the release, coastal, inland and southern areas are expected to have "good" to "moderate" air quality, with possible periods of "unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups" depending on conditions from the Red Salmon Complex fire.

The Red Salmon Complex in Trinity County is now at 21,584 acres with 42 percent containment. Fire activity is expected to continue due to weather conditions and strategic firing operations, reads the report.

Read the full press release below. 
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During the COVID Crisis, Southern Humboldt Dealt Another Bitter Blow as Only Pharmacy for 40 Miles Closes Tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 4:07 PM

Keith Lorang poses in front of empty shelves at his pharmacy which is closing at the end of Friday. - LAUREN SCHMITT, COURTESY OF KMUD
  • Lauren Schmitt, Courtesy of KMUD
  • Keith Lorang poses in front of empty shelves at his pharmacy which is closing at the end of Friday.
The Southern Humboldt Community, already reeling from a struggling economy due to the change in the cannabis industry and the current COVID crisis, now takes another blow as their only local pharmacy will close abruptly tomorrow which will create travel times of an hour or more one way to the nearest pharmacy and require more travel during a pandemic that requires people to travel as little as possible.

Late yesterday, some medical facilities received word of the closure. This morning, word of the imminent disaster spread on social media of the issue.

Our attempts to reach Keith’s Pharmacy resulted in a phone being slammed down as soon as we asked a question about the closing, but Lauren Schmitt from KMUD got an interview and graciously shared it and the photo above with us.

The owner, Keith Lorang, told her that the reason he was closing is the business wasn’t making a profit. He said, “No matter how much we did, we were losing money.” He said that recent changes in insurance policies made it impossible for him to turn a profit. He added, “It is time for me to do something else.”

Lorang said that the business would close for good at 6 p.m. tomorrow and that customers could get their prescriptions sent elsewhere if they contacted him by then. But, getting prescriptions might be difficult as the pharmacy was selling out of their stock.

In the future, he told KMUD, “[Patients] are going to have to go to Fortuna to get [prescriptions filled…There’s [also] a delivery they can get through Redwood’s Rural.” He pointed out that the elderly and rural patients would lose services though. He explained, “We were the only ones that delivered [prescriptions] to your doorstep…and we’ve mailed them out.”

Lorang acknowledged that the community hadn’t received much notice. “I didn’t notify myself until Tuesday,” he said wryly. He said that a local insurance company was withholding about $20,000 from him. “They said I broke the rules in giving people their prescriptions,” he told KMUD. “Without [the money] I don’t have enough to pay my people.”

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Public Health Confirms Three New Cases

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 4:01 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed three new COVID-19 tests today, making just five over the past three days — a welcome lull in a surge that has now seen 131 cases confirmed so far this month.

Today's cases come after Public Health tested 301 samples with a positivity rate of about 1 percent.

Humboldt County Deputy Health Officer Josh Ennis noted in a press release that demographic data on the county’s known cases demonstrates that there are disproportionate impacts to the Latinx and Hispanic community and, as the county has seen more recently, to Native Americans.

“It’s important to point out that this is not due to any increased risk-taking activity or lack of adherence to safety measures,” Ennis said. “People working on the front lines in service and agricultural sectors, for example, may have more workplace exposures to the general public or co-workers. Public Health and our response partners continue to work with our entire community to limit spread of this virus, especially in groups that are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.”

Ennis went on to say that Public Health will e hosting a Spanish-language virtual town hall meeting in partnership with LainoNet, Centro del Pueblo and the Humboldt County Office of Education from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday looking to bring information and answer questions.

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

To date, Humboldt county has seen 364 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 21 hospitalizations and four deaths. Nationally, 5.8 million cases have been confirmed with 178,998 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. California, meanwhile, has recorded 683,529 confirmed cases with 12,550 deaths, 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.


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Hoopa: No New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 1:28 PM

The Hoopa Valley Tribal Office of Emergency Services COVID-19 Incident Management Team reports no new COVID-19 cases at the K'ima:w Medical Center today, leaving the total at 46.

Today's report also states five cases are still "active" and 43 cases are considered "recovered."

More information can be found at https://hoopaoes.org.
08-27-20-pht-covid-19-kmc-reporting-stats.jpg
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UPDATE: Reward Offered in Dog Cruelty Case

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 12:23 PM

Injured dog discovered at the Samoa Dunes - HCSO
  • HCSO
  • Injured dog discovered at the Samoa Dunes
People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has offered $5,000 for information regarding the Samoa animal cruelty case of a female dog who was found gravely wounded.

Along with PETA, a local animal advocate who regularly donates to the Humboldt County Animal Shelter has pledged an additional $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of those involved and covered the cost of the veterinary care she received.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office is investigating after the dog was found with several gunshots wounds in Samoa on Tuesday. The dog was euthanized due to the injuries.

"This dog must have been terrified when she was left to suffer in agony from gunshot wounds, abandoned and alone on the dunes," says PETA Vice President Colleen O'Brien. "PETA joins the sheriff's office in urging anyone who recognizes this dog to come forward immediately before anyone else gets hurt."

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office at 445-7251 or the Sheriff's Crime Tip Hotline at 268-2539.

Read the full press release below.
Reward of Up to $5,000 Offered for Help in Dog-Shooting Case

PETA Joins Sheriff's Office in Search for Culprit(s) Responsible for Dog's Abuse, Abandonment, and Death

Samoa, Calif. — PETA is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and cruelty-to-animals conviction of the person(s) who shot a dog three times and abandoned her in the Samoa Dunes Recreation Area.

The dog, who weighed 70 pounds and is believed to have been a mastiff mix, was reportedly found by a good Samaritan just after 10 a.m. on August 24. Animal control officers rushed her to a veterinarian for care—but she had to be euthanized because of the severity of her injuries. She didn't have a microchip or a collar, and no one has reported missing a dog matching her description.

"This dog must have been terrified when she was left to suffer in agony from gunshot wounds, abandoned and alone on the dunes," says PETA Vice President Colleen O'Brien. "PETA joins the sheriff's office in urging anyone who recognizes this dog to come forward immediately, before anyone else gets hurt."

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff's Crime Tip Hotline at 707-268-2539.

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New Public Health Lab Equipment Tests Nearly 1,300 COVID-19 Samples

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 11:59 AM

Humboldt County Lab Manager Jeremy Corrigan displays the reagents needed to amplify COVID-19 RNA in a test sample. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Humboldt County Lab Manager Jeremy Corrigan displays the reagents needed to amplify COVID-19 RNA in a test sample.
The Humboldt County Public Health laboratory has processed 1,280 COVID-19 tests in one week thanks to a new process and the early delivery of a new piece of equipment (KingFisher Flex) that automates the extraction of RNA and DNA —  the genetic materials that allow microbiologists to determine whether a patient sample contains markers for the COVID-19 virus.

“We would have been much more limited in capacity if not for the early arrival of the KingFisher Flex,” said Public Health Lab Manager Jeremy Corrigan. “But that piece of equipment is only one part of a labor-intensive process that includes hours before and after the automated extraction process we’re talking about.”

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

HSU in Second Round of Student COVID Testing

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 6:43 PM

HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY - FILE
  • Humboldt State University - FILE
Humboldt State University announced today that all students who moved onto campus have been tested for COVID-19 and a second round is underway.

A total of six students have come back positive, including one who lives off-campus but opted to be tested at the Student Health Center, according to a news release.

Results for 50 of the 782 tests for on-campus residents have not yet come back and one student have been released from isolation, as has a campus employee who tested positive.

“HSU has contracted with two commercial labs to continue COVID-19 testing of students in order to reduce strain on county resources for second round testing,” the release states. “About 500 have already been collected, with approximately 100 be processed daily, and County Health processing another 50 daily.”

The number of cases affecting the HSU students and employees will be updated daily at campusready.humboldt.edu.

Read the full HSU release below: 
Humboldt State has conducted tests on all student residents, and second round testing is well underway.

One additional non-resident student has tested positive since Saturday after choosing to be tested at the Student Health Center. That case was not related to residence hall move-in. Another has been cleared by Humboldt County Public Health.

A total of 6 students have tested positive. So far, 782 student residents have been tested and HSU is still awaiting results for 50 of those tests from County Public Health.

The positivity rate of those results is .82 percent, compared to a county rate of 1.68 percent and the state 14-day rate of 6.1 percent. One student who had tested positive has been released from isolation by Humboldt County Public Health.

The affected students have been moved to rooms on campus that are set aside for isolation. The University is providing ongoing support including frequent health and wellness checks with the students, as well as delivery of meals and other necessities.

HSU has contracted with two commercial labs to continue COVID-19 testing of students in order to reduce strain on county resources for second round testing. About 500 have already been collected, with approximately 100 be processed daily, and County Health processing another 50 daily.

A University employee who was affected by COVID-19 has also been released from isolation by Public Health. Going forward, the number of cases affecting the HSU students and employees will be updated daily at campusready.humboldt.edu.

Based on its policies and protocols, the University is protecting the privacy rights of the students while also working to share information necessary to protect the health of the campus and the broader community.

HSU is working closely with Humboldt County Public Health, which will determine whether there are members of the campus community who need to be advised of their contact with affected people. Comprehensive testing is continuing for all students living on campus this year.

Campus residents will be tested multiple times during the course of a 14-day quarantine period. This enhanced level of testing is intended to identify those who may be asymptomatic and isolate them quickly, and was implemented with the help of additional resources from the state and county.

In addition to the required testing for students living on campus, all other HSU students may opt to be tested at the Student Health Center and all students showing symptoms will be tested. Student-athletes are also being tested periodically per state requirements. This advisory provides all the information the University will share about the cases.

Guidelines and Support

The campus community is encouraged to stay safe and healthy, and to help protect the health of the community, by adhering to the Social Responsibility Commitment. This includes wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing, and staying at home if you are sick or have a fever.

The ongoing challenges of the pandemic can lead to increased stress and anxiety. Any students who would like to talk with a counselor can contact Counseling & Psychological Services at 707.826.3236. Staff or faculty needing additional support may call the Employee Assistance Program at 707.443.7358. For more information about COVID-19, visit the California Department of Public Health website. For more information about HSU’s plans for the fall semester, visit the HSU Campus Ready website. 
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One New COVID-19 Case Reported Today

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 4:44 PM

For a second day in a row, Humboldt County Public Health confirmed one new COVID-19 tests today, bringing the county's total to 361.

"Two days is not a trend, but once again, I want to thank the community for helping to keep our case counts favorable compared to many areas of the state and nation,” County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a release. “We all benefit when we are able to slow transmission of this virus, and doing so takes all of us remaining committed to wearing facial coverings, avoiding gatherings outside of our household units and practicing physical distancing at all times in public.”

August has seen 128 cases confirmed to date as the month draws to a close. July had a total of 100 cases.

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


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EOC Taking Applications to Reopen Youth Sports

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 3:12 PM

771dadff_senda_ball_2.jpg
Applications to reopen local youth sports leagues can be filed with the Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center.

Certain restrictions will be placed on which sports can be played and where, according to a news release, which notes that "adult amateur sports are not allowed at this time."

"Youth Sports are allowed only if physical distancing can be maintained at all times and if activities can be conducted in stable cohorts," the release states. "Cohorts are limited to no more than 14 children and no more than two adult coaches or trainers. Sports that cannot maintain physical distance at all times are not allowed, but physically distanced training and conditioning can take place with an EOC-approved plan."

Read the full county release below:


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UPDATE: Teen Homicide Suspect Turns Self In

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 2:47 PM

sheriff.png
Today, law enforcement rescinded a BOLO (Be on the Lookout) after the suspect in the homicide of Julius Tripp turned himself in, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

Tripp, 42, went missing at the end of July and a vehicle associated with him was located off State Route 96. Tripp’s remains were located on Aug. 20 and Tripp’s death was connected to 18-year-old Bronson Moon Lewis, Jr.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office announced yesterday that an arrest warrant had been issued for Moon. His bail has been set at $750,000.

"Lewis Jr.’s surrender was facilitated through the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division and Lewis Jr.’s private attorney," a release states. "The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to express our deepest condolences to the family of Julius Barthel Tripp. The sheriff’s office would also like to thank the citizens of Hoopa, the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council and Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department for their dedication to justice and community safety, and their cooperation with the sheriff’s office to carry out a successful investigation and apprehension."

Anyone with information about Tripp’s death is asked to contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

Read the full release from the HCSO below:
Bronson Moon Lewis Jr., age 18, surrendered peacefully into the custody of the Humboldt County Correctional Facility today, August 26, 2020.

Lewis Jr. was booked into the correctional facility this afternoon on charges of murder (PC 187). His bail is set at $750,000. Lewis Jr.’s surrender was facilitated through the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division and Lewis Jr.’s private attorney.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to express our deepest condolences to the family of Julius Barthel Tripp. The Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank the citizens of Hoopa, the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council and Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department for their dedication to justice and community safety, and their cooperation with the Sheriff’s Office to carry out a successful investigation and apprehension.

We are grateful for these community partnerships that have led to the successful conclusion of this investigation. Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.
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