Friday, November 27, 2020

HumCo Public Health Confirms 31 New Cases, Making a Record 122 for the Week

Posted By on Fri, Nov 27, 2020 at 2:03 PM

Humboldt County Public Health reported 31 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases from today and yesterday, making a record 122 for the week, which far out-passed last week's record setting 71.

And the 122 cases confirmed this week more than double's October's total of 59. The county also reported two new hospitalizations today.

The county's continued surge in cases has landed Humboldt in the state's purple "widespread" risk tier, bringing new layers of restrictions on local businesses.

Having confirmed 280 cases to date in November, officials are bracing for what is expected to be a deluge of positive tests following the Thanksgiving holiday, pushing healthcare capacities on the local, state and national level to the brink.

Humboldt County's new purple status has forced restaurants, movie theaters and places of worship to cease all indoor operations, while also imposing the governor's nighttime shelter-in-place order, which requires residents to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. save for essential outings.

In response to the local surge, Public Health is changing its contact investigations process to meet the demands of rapidly increasing case counts, a news release states.

Eureka, meanwhile, has closed City Hall to the public until further notice.

Humboldt County Health Officer Frankovich has been urging Humboldt residents not to travel, invite out-of-town guests or gather outside their household in an effort to slow the country's rapid COVID spike while there is still time. She has also recommended against in-person classes at local schools for two weeks following the holiday.

Residents of California counties in the state’s purple — or “widespread” COVID-19 risk tier — are currently under a limited stay-at-home order issued by Newsom which prohibits “non-essential work, movement and gatherings” between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that it will continue to "prioritized education and voluntary compliance, rather than criminal enforcement of health orders."

The state of California largely depends on two metrics to determine where a county falls in its tier system: the percentage of COVID-19 tests administered that come back positive over a seven-day period and the average number of new positive cases confirmed per 100,000 in population daily over the course of a week. Both have spiked locally over the course of the last month.

While the taste had a case rate of 24.9 daily cases confirmed per 100,000 residents with a test positivity rate of 6.2 percent for the weekend ending Nov. 18, Humboldt had an adjusted case rate of 6.1 per 100,000 and a 2.3 percent positivity rate. This week's numbers look for bleaker, with the county having confirmed a daily average of 12.9 new cases over a seven-day period with a test-positivity rate of 4.7 percent.

Today's cases were reported after laboratories processed 815 samples with a test-positivity rate of 3.8 percent.

To date, 850 Humboldt County residents have been confirmed to have the virus, with 43 having been hospitalized at some point in their care and nine confirmed COVID-related fatalities.

Nationwide, 12.5 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed — including 165,282 yesterday — with 259,005 deaths, including nearly 2,000 yesterday, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Over the past week, the nation has seen a daily average of 52 cases confirmed per 100,000 in population. California, meanwhile, has confirmed 1.2 million cases (including 14,640 yesterday) with 18,979 fatalities, according to the Department of Public Health.

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.

Beginning Monday, testing will be available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week. Appointments for these new time slots are available now, according to the county's release.

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

Nov. 27, 2020 - 31 New Cases Reported Friday; Limited Stay at Home Order in Effect
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
Thirty-one additional cases of COVID-19 were reported today, bringing to 850 the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus.

The state’s Limited Stay at Home Order is now in effect. To read the full text of the order, visit https://tinyurl.com/limitedstayathomeorder.

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.

To view COVID-19 safety modifications by industry sector, visit covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance. For a complete list of requirements in the purple, or “Widespread” tier, go to cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Dimmer-Framework-September_2020.pdf.


Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/dashboard,
Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19,
Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19,
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19, and
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert
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Thadeus Greenson

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Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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