Thursday, February 25, 2021

County Reports 10 new COVID-19 Cases, Slated to Receive Nearly 5K Vaccine Doses Next Week

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 4:51 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 10 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county's cumulative tally to 3,160.

The results were released after labs processed 297 samples with a test-positivity rate of 3.4 percent.

According to the county's dashboard, eight local residents are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Local available intensive care unit capacity, meanwhile, has risen to 21.4 percent.

Public Health also announced today that Humboldt County has been allocated 4,740 additional COVID-19 vaccination doses for next week. To date, the county has administered 26,789 vaccine doses, with 7,374 local residents having been fully vaccinated and another 12,041 having received the first of the required two doses.

When the state of California updated its COVID risk tier assignments Tuesday, it moved Humboldt County into the state's red tier for the first time since January, as local officials had predicted.

The new designation means some businesses and organizations can reopen indoor operations, including restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and places of worship, at reduced capacity.

The state data shows the county with a seven-day average test-positive rate of 2.7 percent and a daily case rate of 6.3 per 100,000, compared to California overall, which has a 4.8 positivity rate and 15.2 cases per 100,000.
The county's Joint Information Center also reported Friday that the state Department of Public Health has released updates guidelines for youth and adult recreational sports, which allow some to resume with safety measures in place in counties with case relates below an average of 14 new cases confirmed daily per 100,000 residents. The measures will take effect next Friday and the county will release additional information before then, according to the release.

Last Thursday, the county announced it had confirmed the presence of a never-before-seen COVID-19 variation in 16 cases associated with the catastrophic outbreak at Granada Rehabilitation and Wellness. Read more about that here.

Vaccination efforts, meanwhile, continue to move slowly forward, with residents over the age of 70, healthcare workers, teachers and first responders currently eligible to receive their shots. The clinics remain by invitation only and residents are urged to complete the county's vaccination interest form to be notified when they are eligible.


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

To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 3,160 cases, with 133 hospitalizations and 33 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 3,009 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 healthy patients.

The county’s test positivity rate has gone from 3.6 percent in November, to 7.3 percent in December, to 9.9 percent in January. Through the first 25 days of February, the test-positivity rate sits at 6.6 percent.

Nationwide, more than 28.1 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 501,181 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, 3.5 million cases have been confirmed with 50,991 deaths, according to the Department of Public Health.

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.

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:
Feb. 25, 2021 - 10 New Cases Reported Today; Weekly Vaccine Allocation Info Released

707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
Ten additional cases of COVID-19 were reported today. One previously reported case was determined to be out of jurisdiction, so the total number of Humboldt County residents who have tested positive for the virus now stands at 3,160.

Humboldt County has been allocated a total of 4,740 doses of COVID-19 vaccine — 2,400 Moderna and 2,340 Pfizer — for next week. Public Health is planning to administer at least 405 second doses and 996 first doses at large-scale vaccination clinics in collaboration with local health care providers. The remaining doses will be distributed to other approved local vaccinators.

Currently, people age 70 and over, health care workers, emergency services workers, licensed child care providers, K-12 educators and support staff are prioritized for vaccination. Planning is underway for higher education as well as food and agriculture. Vaccination appointments are invitation only. County residents can sign up to be notified when an appointment is available for their age group by filling out the online COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form.

English: humboldtgov.org/InterestForm

Español: humboldtgov.org/formulariadeinteres

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.


Local COVID-19 vaccine information: humboldtgov.org/vaccineinfo
Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/dashboard
Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19
Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19
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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