Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Humboldt Enters 'New Normal' COVID Ranking

Posted By on Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 3:40 PM

Public Health reported three new confirmed COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county's total to 527.

The case rate is important because it will play a key role in determining whether Humboldt continues to stay in its newly acquired "minimal" risk rating under the state's system, which will allow for more types of businesses to open up and others to expand.

The reason Humboldt became one of seven counties in the lowest risk level is because the county is the one and only place in California to meet a new "equity metric" or "demonstrate targeted investments to eliminate disparities in levels of COVID-19 transmission, depending on its size," under the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

“I want to thank everyone who has taken on this responsibility,” County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a release. “Unfortunately, we are not done dealing with COVID-19. It is very likely that counties across California will move up and down through the tiers over time. The good news is that if we keep following prevention measures, our county has a better chance at staying in the lower tiers and keeping most sectors of our business community operating. It will take all of us doing our part to achieve that.”

The county's overall alert level,  in turn, is now at one or the "new normal" risk level green, which is based on spread, the local health care system's capacity and the county's effectiveness of controlling the virus. Visit humboldtgov.org/dashboard to view the county’s Alert Level Assessment tool.

Humboldt currently has a test positivity rate of 1.5 percent and 2 cases per 100,000 individuals, according to data released Tuesday. The statewide level is 7.1 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 3.2 percent.

Under the lowest risk category, most indoor businesses can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only six other counties in California are in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

To date, Humboldt County has seen 32 hospitalizations and eight deaths. Today's results include the processing of 124 samples.

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.
Three new cases of COVID-19 were reported today, bringing to 527 the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus.

Humboldt County is now in the “yellow” tier under the state’s four-tier “Blueprint to a Safer Economy,” based on local COVID-19 data. Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said this move demonstrates the county’s dedication to safety measures.

“I want to thank everyone who has taken on this responsibility,” she said. “Unfortunately, we are not done dealing with COVID-19. It is very likely that counties across California will move up and down through the tiers over time. The good news is that if we keep following prevention measures, our county has a better chance at staying in the lower tiers and keeping most sectors of our business community operating. It will take all of us doing our part to achieve that.”

Read more about the county’s current tier assignment at humboldtgov.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3326. Today’s local alert level was lowered to level one or green. 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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