Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Humboldt Still in 'Minimal' COVID Risk Tier as Cases Rise

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2020 at 4:10 PM

Humboldt County Public Health reported six new COVID-19 cases today, which makes 21 since Friday.

The cases were confirmed after laboratories processed 281 samples. To date, Humboldt County has seen 592 cases, 37 people hospitalized at some point in their COVID-19 care and 10 COVID-related deaths.

California Department of Public Health data released today under the state's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy" risk-ranking system has Humboldt marking its fourth week in the minimal tier, with a positivity rate of 0.7 percent and an adjusted case rate of 1.1 per 100,000 residents.

Meanwhile, the state has an overall test positivity rate of 3.3 and case rate of 7.7 per 100,000 in population.

However, County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich cautioned that Humboldt was seeing an increase in cases.

“It is important for us to remember that a relatively small daily increase in cases can move us into the orange tier, significantly impacting our business community,” she said in a release. “As we experience colder weather and spend increasing time indoors where transmission occurs more easily, it is vital that we use all prevention measures possible to keep each other safe.”

Right now, 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. Read more about what it means here.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was recently updated to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which are 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.

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

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

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