Monday, January 25, 2021

County Reports Two COVID Deaths, 132 New Cases

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 3:44 PM

Two additional Humboldt residents have died and Public Health confirmed 132 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, bringing the county's cumulative tally to 2,624 after two previous cases were removed from the total.

One of the individuals who died was in their 70s and the other was in their 90s. Seven additional hospitalizations were also reported.

Including today's numbers, Humboldt County has recorded 863 cases so far in January, exactly matching December's single month record with a week to go in the month.

According to a news release,  Public Health and other local approved vaccinators expect to receive a total of 1,875 COVID-19 vaccine doses — 600 Moderna first doses, 300 Moderna second doses and 975 Pfizer first doses — this week.

Meanwhile, mass clinics for healthcare workers are continuing but are by invitation only while "providers approved to administer vaccine will reach out directly to their patients who are over 75 as vaccine for that phase becomes available," the release states.

Individuals without a primary care provider or whose provider is not an approved vaccinator can register with the county by submitting an online interest form. (Read more and find a link to the form here.)

Under state data released last week, Humboldt County remains in the most restrictive purple "widespread" tier. New tier status' for the state's 58 counties is scheduled to be released tomorrow.

To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 2,624 cases, with 93 hospitalizations and 27 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths. Fifteen Humboldt County residents are currently hospitalized, according to the county's dashboard, including five under intensive care. Humboldt County's ICU capacity is listed at 42.9 percent.

The county dashboard lists 2,172 people as having "recovered" from the virus locally, though that just means they are no longer contagious and does not account for long-term health impacts, which local healthcare workers have told the Journal can be substantial, even in previously health patients.

Meanwhile, state health officials abruptly ended a stay home order, which divided California into five regions, that was triggered throughout a region when its commutative available hospital intensive care unit capacity dropped below 15 percent. Areas of the California that where under the order, which included most of the state, can now resume some operations, such as outdoor dining.

Still in effect is a health order issued last month that halted all elective surgeries to make more room for intensive care unit capacity in regions where hospital ICU capacity is at 0 percent. That order doesn't currently affect Humboldt County.

The state has issued a travel advisory strongly discouraging all non-essential travel and urging anyone returning from non essential, out-of-state travel needs to self-quarantine for a minimum of 10 days upon their return.

In Humboldt County, healthcare workers have already said there are emergency room patients who have been waiting for days for transfers out of the area for specialized care because hospitals throughout the state don't have available beds.

Today's Humboldt County cases were confirmed after 822 samples were processed.

While California has a case rate of 105.4 daily cases confirmed per 100,000 residents with a test positivity rate of 15.2 percent in data released last week, Humboldt has a case rate of 18.3 cases per 100,000 (down from 25.2 in the previous week's report) and a 4.9 percent positivity rate, also a decrease. New data is expected tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the county's Joint Information Center is urging locals to get tested, calling it "one of the most helpful things county residents can do for the community at large," because it allows Public Health to catch cases early and limit spread. The state-run OptumServe testing site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka is open seven days a week and no-cost appointments can be made by clicking here or calling (888) 634-1123.

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 assessing risk factors for contracting the illness, which can be found 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 release below:

Two Humboldt County residents have died with COVID-19, and 132 additional cases have been reported since Friday. Two previously reported cases were removed, so the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus is now 2,624.

One of the people who died was in their 70s and the other in their 90s. Humboldt County Public Health staff extended their condolences to the friends and family of these individuals.

The California Department of Public Health today announced that the “Regional Stay Home Order” will be lifted for the entire state, and all counties again will be required to follow COVID-19 safety measures as outlined by the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” The state’s “Limited Stay Home Order” has also ended.

The announcement has little impact locally because the “Regional Stay Home Order” was never applied to the Northern California region. Humboldt County remains in the “Purple” or widespread tier. For more information about the “Blueprint,” go to covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs.

This week, Public Health and other local approved vaccinators expect to receive a total of 1,875 COVID-19 vaccine doses—600 Moderna first doses, 300 Moderna second doses and 975 Pfizer first doses.

Public Health continues to schedule mass vaccination clinics for Phase 1A health care workers. Two of the three planned clinics this week will focus on health care workers who have not yet received their first dose, and the third will be for medical personnel who are ready for their second dose. Appointments for health care workers are invitation only.

Providers approved to administer vaccine will reach out directly to their patients who are over 75 as vaccine for that phase becomes available. Those who do not have a provider or whose doctor is not an approved vaccinator can fill out the newly launched online vaccine interest form to be notified when appointments are available for their priority group. To access the form, visit humboldtgov.org/InterestForm.

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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About The Author

Kimberly Wear

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

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