Tuesday, November 17, 2020

November COVID Cases Already Double Last Month's Numbers

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 3:47 PM

Public Health reported nine COVID-19 cases today, pushing November's numbers to date to more than twice that of last month. One case from October and one of the death's assigned to Humboldt have been moved to another county.

Fifty-three cases were verified last week, the most recorded in that time period locally since the pandemic began. So far this month, the county has confirmed 125 cases after seeing 58 in all of October.

“While case and positivity rates locally aren’t as severe as we are seeing in some areas of the state, the pace of increase here is extremely concerning,” County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a release. “Simply leaving the county is a risk. Bringing people in to visit is a risk. Now is the time to be extra vigilant so we can come together when the time is safe to do so, with all our loved ones.”

Yesterday, Gov. Gavin Newsom raised the risk tiers of multiple counties, including Humboldt, which this afternoon skipped right over the orange, or "moderate" risk tier, and straight into the red zone, or "substantial" risk category, due to a surge in cases.

That will mean a host of new restrictions for many business across the region. (Read more here.)

County health officials have been warning residents for weeks that Humboldt teetered on the edge of maintaining its previous place in the "minimal" tier and warn that the recent unprecedented spread is due mainly to folk traveling out of town or hosting out-of-town guests as well as indoor gatherings of multiple households. And, Thanksgiving is just around the corner.


Last week, the California Department of Public Health issued a travel advisory strongly discouraging non-essential travel and urging residents to stay close to home when possible. Those who do travel into the state are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, and local officials are asking anyone who leaves Humboldt County to do the same after their return.

Today's cases were reported after laboratories processed 143 samples with a test-positivity rate of 6.3 percent.

To date, 695 Humboldt County residents have been confirmed to have the virus, with 40 having been hospitalized at some point in their care and nine confirmed COVID-related fatalities.

Humboldt currently has an adjusted case rate of 4.8 — which the state describes as a seven-day average of daily cases with a seven-day lag time of daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people — and a positivity rate of 2.0 percent. Overall, the state stands at a case rate of 16.5 per 100,000 and a positivity rate of 5.0 percent.

The county is encouraging those who are asymptomatic to sign up for a free COVID test at the OptumServe site in Eureka. Appointments can be made by calling 888-634-1123 or visit lhi.care/covidtesting.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard includes 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 the county.

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.
Read the county's release below:
Nine additional cases of COVID-19 were reported today. One previously reported positive case and death were reassigned to the person’s county of residence. The total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus now stands at 695, and there have been nine deaths. Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said the residence listed on the death certificate of the deceased individual was outside the county. This ultimately determines where the case is assigned. As of today, November has seen 125 cases, more than doubling the 58 recorded for the month of October. “While case and positivity rates locally aren’t as severe as we are seeing in some areas of the state, the pace of increase here is extremely concerning,” Dr. Frankovich said. “Simply leaving the county is a risk. Bringing people in to visit is a risk. Now is the time to be extra vigilant so we can come together when the time is safe to do so, with all our loved ones.” 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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