Friday, April 2, 2021

HumCo to Receive 2K Fewer COVID Vaccine Doses Next Week

Posted By on Fri, Apr 2, 2021 at 4:24 PM

Despite thousands of local residents becoming newly eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine this week, Humboldt County Public Health reported today that the state will allocate 4,640 vaccine doses to the county next week — more than 2,200 fewer than were received this week.

Public Health reports it will use 2,400 of those doses at five large-scale vaccination clinics planned for next week and distribute remaining doses to local providers.

Meanwhile, the county reported that it confirmed three new COVID-19 cases today after laboratories processed 188 samples with a test-positivity rate of 1.6 percent. That brings this week's case tally to 45, up from the prior week's total of 40, which was the lowest recorded since early November.

In a press release earlier today, county officials noted that the number of local residents getting tested for COVID-19 has dropped "considerably" in recent months. This is worrisome, they said, because testing is critical for identifying and limiting the spread of disease in the community. Public Health Clinic and Communicable Disease Program Supervisor Have Phillips said the concern is that a vaccine-resistant variant will develop and spread "before we are able to get it under control."

"Viruses mutate easily, and if the mutations are significant enough, they can create a new variant,” she said, explaining that each person with COVID-19 may have viruses with a few different mutations. “But if people know they are sick and stay isolated, then none of those mutations have the chance to spread to anyone else, and the chance for a new variant decreases. ... When people don't get tested it takes longer to identify that new variants are spreading, which slows down research and response."

Public Health reported yesterday that 57,326 COVID-19 vaccine doses have now been administered in Humboldt County, with 22,365 residents — almost 20 percent of the local population over the age of 16 — now fully vaccinated.

Nearly 60 percent of county residents over the age of 75 are fully vaccinated, the county reported today as vaccine eligibility was opened to include all residents age 50 and older, and those 16 to 64 with underlying health issues that make them at higher risk of critical outcomes.

When the state of California updated its COVID-19 risk tiers Tuesday, it kept Humboldt County in the red "substantial" tier, meaning restaurants, movie theaters, churches and other organizations are allowed to continue limited indoor operations.

Data shows the county with a seven-day average test-positivity rate of 2.2 percent and a daily case rate of 4.6 per 100,000, both of which decreased slightly from the previous week. California as a whole, meanwhile, has a 1.8 percent test-positivity rate and 4.8 cases per 100,000.

Monday, the county recorded its 36th COVID-related death and its second in three days, bringing the virus' local death toll to 36. Public Health also reported Monday that it is updating its guidance to recommend testing before and after travel outside the area, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control recommendations, though health officials still strongly discourage non-essential travel beyond 120 miles from one's residence.

Gov. Gavin Newsom also announced last week that California will open up vaccination eligibility to those age 16 and older beginning April 15, based on an expected increase in vaccination supply. County health officials, however, warned that a "significant increase in supply" would be necessary to begin vaccinating all residents over the age of 16.

Vaccination clinics remain by appointment only and residents are urged to fill out a vaccine interest form so they can be notified when they are eligible.

The state has also announced that beginning today outdoor sports events and live performances will be cleared to reopen with fans and spectators, so long as facial coverings are worn at all times, venues follow tier-based capacity restrictions and provide reserved, assigned seating. (Read more here.)

Currently, local residents over the age of 50, healthcare workers, teachers, first responders, food and agricultural workers, and residents ages 16 to 65 with one of a specific list of high-risk medical conditions or disabilities are eligible to receive their shots, with the first vaccine clinic for the food and ag sector set for next week. The clinics remain by invitation only to control exposure risks and ensure vaccinations are administered according to the county's priority tiers, with residents urged to complete the county's vaccination interest form to be notified when they are eligible.

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

To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 3,492 cases, with 135 hospitalizations and 36 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 3,394 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 and 9.9 percent in January, before dropping to 6.5 percent in February. In March, it dropped to 4.5 percent.

Nationwide, more than 30.3 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 550,169 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, 3.6 million cases have been confirmed with 58,269 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 release below:



April 2, 2021 - State Allocates County 4,640 Vaccine Doses for Next Week
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
Humboldt County has been allocated 4,640 doses of COVID-19 vaccine for next week by the State of California. That’s a decrease of 2,270 doses from the prior week’s allocation.

Of those doses, 1,700 are Moderna, 2,340 are Pfizer and 600 are Johnson & Johnson. Humboldt County Public Health will use 1,510 Moderna and 930 Pfizer doses at five large-scale vaccination clinics planned for next week. Remaining doses will be distributed to other approved local vaccinators.

The state is requiring counties to transition to a new system called My Turn to register for and schedule vaccination appointments as they become available. Access the system at myturn.ca.gov. More information about local implementation will be released next week.

3 New Cases Reported Today
A total of 3,492 Humboldt County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after three new cases were reported today.

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.

Some Safeway and CVS Pharmacy locations are offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments. See if there are appointments available for your age group or sector at one of these locations by clicking on the links below.

Safeway: https://www.mhealthappointments.com/covidappt

CVS Pharmacy: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine?icid=cvs-home-hero1-link2-coronavirus-vaccine.


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

###


April 2, 2021 - Testing Remains Critical Piece to Ending Pandemic
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
The number of residents testing for COVID-19 has dropped considerably in recent months as vaccination rates increase, leading health officials to push for continued testing.

“Testing is critical to reducing disease spread in the community,” said Hava Phillips, Public Health Clinic and Communicable Disease Program supervisor. “It’s a lot easier to spread a disease when you don’t know you have it.”

Testing in Humboldt County is offered at no charge seven days a week (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at Redwood Acres in Eureka and is also available at various locations throughout the county each weekday. Walk-ins are welcome at all sites, and turnaround time for results averages 48 to 72 hours. See the full schedule below:

Eureka – Seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Redwood Acres, 3750 Harris St.)
Arcata – Mondays, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Arcata Community Center, 321 M.L.K. Jr. Pkwy.)
Garberville – Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (SoHum Health Sprowl Creek Campus, 286 Sprowl Creek Road)
Fortuna – Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (River Lodge Conference Center, 1800 Riverwalk Drive)
Hoopa – Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Tsewenaldin Inn, 12482 CA-96)
McKinleyville – Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Azalea Hall, 1620 Pickett Road).
To schedule, go to lhi.care/covidtesting, or call 888-634-1123.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others. Currently, there are five variants of concern in California, which are thought to be more contagious or likely to cause greater illness or severe disease, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Also, while COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping people from getting COVID-19, the CDC is still learning how well vaccines prevent them from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if they do not have symptoms.

Additionally, a big concern among Public Health officials is that a vaccine-resistant variant will develop “before we are able to get it under control,” Phillips said.

“Viruses mutate easily, and if the mutations are significant enough, they can create a new variant,” she said, explaining that each person with COVID-19 may have viruses with a few different mutations. “But if people know they are sick and stay isolated, then none of those mutations have the chance to spread to anyone else, and the chance for a new variant decreases.”

New variants are found by looking at the virus found among positive tests. “When people don’t get tested it takes longer to identify that new variants are spreading, which slows down research and response,” Phillips said.

Fully vaccinated people should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19, especially following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, CDC states. If symptoms develop, all people — regardless of vaccination status — should isolate and be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, including getting tested, if indicated.

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.

Some Safeway and CVS Pharmacy locations are offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments. See if there are appointments available for your age group or sector at one of these locations by clicking on the links below.

Safeway: https://www.mhealthappointments.com/covidappt

CVS Pharmacy: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine?icid=cvs-home-hero1-link2-coronavirus-vaccine.


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

###
  • 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

Thadeus Greenson

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

more from the author

Care2 Take Action?

socialize

Facebook | Twitter

© 2021 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation