Monday, February 1, 2021

Limited Supplies Slowing Vaccination Efforts, County Reports

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2021 at 5:19 PM

Humboldt County Public Health has confirmed 65 new COVID-19 cases since Friday as vaccination efforts slow due to limited supplies. Three more hospitalizations were also reported.

As a result of the limited doses, Public Health has "canceled its large-scale vaccination clinics for the week and reassigned available resources to support other providers’ clinics," according to a news release.

Another 3,775 doses are expected to arrive locally this week.

"Those will be administered to health care workers, first responders, people age 75 and over as well as in-person educators and support staff, based on priorities outlined by the California Department of Public Health," the release state, adding that first dose vaccinations are expected to slow in coming week as 6,000 people are up for a second round in February and March.

"Large groups are due for their second dose at once due to the Moderna pause, which, once lifted, led to many first dose vaccinations being given in a shorter period of time than was anticipated," the release states. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the second dose of both approved vaccines can be given as many as 42 days after the first."

Residents are urged to continue to follow COVID safety guidelines as vaccinations roll out, which could take months.

Five deaths and 258 cases were confirmed last week, for a record 990 reported in January. Three recently identified cases have been determined to be from out of the county and one was a duplicate, leaving the county's total number at 2,815.

Today's results came after 893 tests were processed.

Last week, the county noted that contact investigation teams were tracking nearly 200 chains of transmission and several small outbreaks throughout the county, with many related to indoor gatherings.

Health Officer Ian Hoffman reported to the Board of Supervisors last week that the county is only receiving 1,000 to 2,000 first doses of vaccine a week from the state, which is slowing the process of getting through the list of the approximately 27,000 people — including healthcare workers, first responders, educators and residents age 75 and older — currently eligible to receive the vaccine.

Individuals without a primary care provider or whose provider is not an approved vaccinator can register with the county to receive a vaccine when eligible 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.

To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 2,815 cases, with 104 hospitalizations and 30 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths. Ten Humboldt County residents are currently hospitalized, according to the county's dashboard, including two under intensive care. Humboldt County's ICU capacity is listed at 35.7 percent.

The county dashboard lists 2,450 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.

According to the county's Joint Information Center, last week saw a 6.4 percent increase in cases, with the 20-29 age group continuing to represent the largest percentage of local cases at just over 24 percent. The 10-19 age group saw the highest increase in cases since last week with 38 new infections.

Nationally, more than 26 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed with 439,955 deaths, including 1,920 reported today, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Statewide, 3.3 million COVID-19 case shave been confirmed, including 15,358 reported today, with 40,908 deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Meanwhile, the state abruptly ended a stay home order last week, 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 but not Humboldt, 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.

While California has a case rate of 71.6 daily cases confirmed per 100,000 residents with a test positivity rate of 12.6 percent in data released last week, Humboldt has a case rate of 23.7 cases per 100,000 and a 6.8 percent positivity rate, both increases.

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's release below:

Sixty-five additional cases of COVID-19 have been reported since Friday. Three recently reported cases were determined to be from out of county and one was a duplicate, so the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus now stands at 2,815.

All datasets on the Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard have been updated. Some highlights include:

  • The 20-29 age group continues to represent the largest percentage of local cases at just over 24%, though the 10-19 age group saw the highest increase in cases since last week with 38 new infections.
  • Humboldt County’s confirmed case rate is 2,113 per 100,000 residents. The state and national rates are more than three times higher at 8,247 and 7,947 per 100,000 residents respectively.
  • The county has seen a 6.4% increase in cases over last week, and the case doubling time is 44 days.

Go to humboldtgov.org/dashboard to view the latest data.

Humboldt County Public Health continues to use every dose of the COVID-19 vaccine it is allocated on a weekly basis. Due to limited vaccine supply, Public Health has canceled its large-scale vaccination clinics for the week and reassigned available resources to support other providers’ clinics.

By the end of this week, all approved local vaccinators, including Public Health, are expected to receive a total of 3,775 doses. Those will be administered to health care workers, first responders, people age 75 and over as well as in-person educators and support staff, based on priorities outlined by the California Department of Public Health.

First dose vaccinations are expected to slow in the coming weeks as nearly 6,000 people are set to begin receiving appointment invitations to schedule their second dose in February and March. Large groups are due for their second dose at once due to the Moderna pause, which, once lifted, led to many first dose vaccinations being given in a shorter period of time than was anticipated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the second dose of both approved vaccines can be given as many as 42 days after the first.

County residents are urged to continue practicing COVID-19 safety measures until vaccine supply can meet demand, which is likely to take many months. Regular testing for COVID-19 remains critically important in identifying cases early to prevent further spread.

Scheduling an appointment in advance at an OptumServe test site is the best way to ensure a test is available, but walk-ins are accepted at all sites. Results are typically returned in about 72 hours. Call 888-634-1123 or go to lhi.care/covidtesting to schedule.  

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.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

About The Author

Kimberly Wear

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

socialize

Facebook | Twitter

© 2021 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation