Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Four New COVID Cases Along With Three New Hospitalizations

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2020 at 5:18 PM

Humboldt County Public Health reported four new confirmed COVID-19 cases today, an uptick after a period of relative calm over the last week. Three new hospitalizations were also reported.

County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said more than 30 positive COVID-19 cases have now been tied to a large gathering in Southern Humboldt late last month, which involved some 50 individuals from different households and outside the area.

“Gatherings are a driver of infections across the state,” Frankovich said in a news release. “You can’t predict in advance which gatherings are going to be super spreader events, and so the safest thing is to not hold them at all.”

Initially, 22 cases were tied to the party.

Frankovich noted that if people are going to gather, it should be done only in small numbers, outdoors, with social distancing, and any food should not be shared. The county's total now stands at 489.

The county has just revised its case data dashboard to provide a bit more information about the breakdown of local cases by age. Most notably, 44 percent of local cases have been diagnosed in people under the age of 30, with 8 percent of the county’s caseload confirmed in children under the age of 10. The largest age demographic represented in the county’s caseload to date is the 20-to-29 age group, which accounts for 23.5 percent of local cases.

Humboldt County remains in the “moderate” category under the state's new four-tiered system, with a test positivity rate of  2.5 percent and 4.3 cases per 100,000 individuals, according to numbers released today.  The statewide level is 6.4 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 3.6 percent.

The state's "substantial" risk tier — which includes counties averaging between 4 and seven new cases a day per 100,000 residents or test positivity rates of 5 to 8 percent — brings tighter restrictions, including further limiting indoor restaurant and gym capacities and closing some "non-essential indoor business operations," like office. If the county were to move into the "substantial risk" tier, it would then need to record numbers in the "moderate" tier for 21 consecutive days before the state would loosen the added restrictions.
Today's results include the processing of 97 samples. To date, Humboldt County has seen 30 COVID-19 hospitalizations and six deaths.


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.
Four new cases of COVID-19 were reported today, bringing to 489 the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus. Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said that more than 30 positive COVID-19 cases have now been tied to a large gathering in late August. There were initially 22 cases directly connected to this event that was characterized as a party of approximately 50 individuals from different households and outside the area.

Dr. Frankovich emphasized that while socializing within your household is safest, if people choose to gather, smaller groups and outdoor settings with physical distancing measures make gathering safer. If food is part of the gathering, it is safest for people to bring their own rather than sharing.

“Gatherings are a driver of infections across the state,” Dr. Frankovich said. “You can’t predict in advance which gatherings are going to be super spreader events, and so the safest thing is to not hold them at all.”

Today’s alert level stands at two or level yellow. 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.
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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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