Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Humboldt Holds onto 'Minimal' Risk Tier

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 4:07 PM

Public Health confirmed four new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county's total at 558. Another hospitalization was also reported.

Under new California Department of Public Health data, Humboldt County continues its stay in the yellow or minimal tier under the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” with a positivity rate of 0.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 1.0.

But health officials warn Humboldt's hold in the tier could be fleeting.

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

Today's results included 93 test samples. To date, Humboldt County has seen 36 hospitalizations and nine deaths, the most recent being a 38-year-old man, according to the Times-Standard, which reports Sheriff William Honsal described him as a "fairly healthy" individual with "underlying conditions" who tested positive during his autopsy, the results of which are pending.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was updated last week to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which will be reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included. Both Arcata and Eureka showed an increase in cases compared to last week.

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.

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Kimberly Wear

Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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