Monday, April 12, 2021

Public Health Confirms 35 New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Mon, Apr 12, 2021 at 4:27 PM

Humboldt County Public Health reported today that it has confirmed 35 new COVID-19 cases since Friday — more than were confirmed all of last week — bringing the county's cumulative case count to 3,553.

The cases were confirmed after laboratories processed 644 samples with a test-positivity rate of 5.4 percent. Last week, Public Health confirmed a total of 32 cases — the lowest weekly case tally since October — while also reporting that the county is slated to receive more than 11,000 vaccine doses next week, by far the largest weekly allocation to date.

Last week, the county announced it is opening vaccine eligibility to all local residents age 16 and over almost a week in advance of the state's planned expansion and that the county was slated to receive 11,000 vaccine doses this week, a record to date. Anyone wanting to get vaccinated is encouraged to sign up on the state's My Turn vaccine registry.

Last 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 last week 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. The prior week, Humboldt daily cases rate was 4.6 per 100,000.

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.)

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 3,553 cases, with 137 hospitalizations and 36 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 3,443 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 31 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 559,172 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, 3.6 million cases have been confirmed with 59,249 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 12, 2021 - 35 New Cases Reported Today; Vaccination Appointments Available This Week

707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
35 New Cases Reported Today;
Vaccination Appointments Available This Week
Thirty-five new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Humboldt County since the most recent report on Friday, bringing to 3,553 the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus.

Daily and weekly data on the Humboldt County Data Dashboard has been updated. Some highlights include:

The confirmed case rate is 2,603 per 100,000 residents. The state and national rates are more than three times higher at 9,118 and 9,461 respectively.
The 20-29 age group represents the highest number of local cases at 23.6%, followed by those in the 30-39 age group at 19.3%.
Vaccination is now open to all people age 16 and over, and appointments are available this week. Humboldt County received triple its previous weekly allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses from the State of California. Local health officials warn that the state may adjust the county’s allocations based on local uptake. The state can also redistribute already allocated doses to another county if they aren’t used within seven days of delivery.

Community residents are urged to take the first appointment available for the first vaccine available. Many first-dose appointments are available at mass-vaccination clinics scheduled this week. Those who received an emailed invitation to register for their first dose through PrepMod should expect to receive a second dose invitation via email sometime over the next three weeks. Please call the Humboldt County Joint Information Center (JIC) at 707-441-5000 with any questions.

Sign Up for a First-Dose Clinic Today at MyTurn.ca.gov
As of Monday, April 19, the JIC will no longer automatically distribute COVID-19 Daily Test Results. Instead, a link to a PDF download of the daily test results will be incorporated into the Humboldt Health Alert update each weekday. Anyone who wants to continue receiving updates should subscribe to Humboldt Health Alert at humboldtgov.org/COVIDSubscribe.

View the dashboard online at humboldtgov.org/dashboard, or go to humboldtgov.org/DashboardArchives to download today’s data.

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or 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 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

Sign up for COVID-19 vaccination: MyTurn.ca.gov
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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