Thursday, April 8, 2021

Five New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed, County Still Has Open Vaccination Appointments

Posted By on Thu, Apr 8, 2021 at 3:52 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed five new COVID-19 cases today, while continuing to urge residents to sign up with the state's My Turn vaccine registry and fill hundreds of open local appointments this weekend.

The five cases were reported after laboratories processed 156 samples with a test-positivity rate of 3.2 percent. The county's cumulative case count now stands at 3,508 after several previously reported cases were removed, with one being deemed a duplicate reporting and a handful of others traced to non-county residents. One new hospitalization was also reported today.

Earlier today, the county announced that hundreds of vaccination appointments remain open for this weekend for those currently eligible, which include all residents over the age of 50, those age 16 to 49 with underlying medical conditions that put them at more risk, teachers and workers in the food, agricultural, public safety and healthcare sectors.

Tuesday, the state of California updated its COVID-19 risk tiers, moving Humboldt County into its orange "moderate" tier, which allows businesses such as restaurants, gyms and movie theaters to increase indoor operations, while allowing others — including bowling alleys and family fun centers — to open.

The change came after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state had met its goal of administering 4 million doses to socio-economically challenged areas, a trigger for increasing the epidemiological tier thresholds.

The state data released today shows Humboldt County with a test positive rate of 2.0 percent (compared to 2.2 percent last week) and a daily case rate of 3.5 per 100,000 compared to California overall, which has a 1.8 positivity rate and 5.1 cases per 100,000. Last week, Humboldt daily cases rate was 4.6 per 100,000.

Newsom announced last month 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.

With the county moving to the state's vaccination allocation and registration system, all local residents are now encouraged to sign up at www.myturn.ca.gov.

Beginning April 1, the state cleared outdoor sports events and live performances 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.

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 3,508 cases, with 137 hospitalizations and 36 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 3,431 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. Through the first seven days of April it sat at 1.9 percent.

Nationwide, more than 30.7 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 556,106 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, 3.6 million cases have been confirmed with 58,788 deaths, according to the Department of Public Health.

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 8, 2021 - 5 New Cases Reported Today; Sign Up for ‘My Turn’ Now
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
Five new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the county today. Three previously reported cases were determined to be from another county, and one was found to be a duplicate. That brings to 3,508 the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus.

Hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available this week through the state’s My Turn system.

Residents can sign up for an appointment at myturn.ca.gov. The system is designed to notify users of appointments as they become available, but the best way to stay aware of openings is to regularly check myturn.ca.gov. Read more about who currently qualifies for vaccination at https://humboldtgov.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3862. Please note that vaccination will open to anyone age 16 and over on April 15.

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, CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, Walgreen’s and Walmart locations are offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Learn who is eligible for vaccination and 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

Rite Aid: https://www.riteaid.com/covid-19

Walgreen’s: https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/cp/1228302


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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About The Author

Thadeus Greenson

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

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