Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Public Health Confirms 13 COVID-19 New Cases; 30K Residents Fully Vaccinated

Posted By on Wed, Apr 14, 2021 at 4:30 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 13 new COVID-19 cases today, with one case removed after it was found to be a duplicate, making 54 positive cases this week and totaling 3,572 countywide cases.

The cases were confirmed after laboratories processed 321 samples.

Public Health also announced that 30,444 county residents have been fully vaccinated, which represents 22.4 percent of the total population.

Last week, the county opened vaccine eligibility to all local residents age 16 and over almost a week in advance of the state's planned expansion and announced 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.

Yesterday, Public Health announced it was following federal guidance and "pausing" administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after six women in other areas of the country reported getting blood clots within weeks of receiving the vaccine.

The county will continue to pause the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until further notice, however, the release states that "local health officials believe this will have minimal impact on local vaccination efforts due to the small allocation of this vaccine received by the county." Humboldt County was due to receive 650 of the single-dose vaccine this week.

Humboldt County still sits the state's moderate or "orange" tier it entered last week, which allowed 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 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 yesterday showed that Humboldt County has a test positive rate of 1.1 percent (compared to 2 percent last week) and a daily case rate of 2 per 100,000 compared the prior week's 4.6. California overall, meanwhile, reports a 1.8 percent test-positivity rate and 4.8 cases per 100,000.

On 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 3,572 cases, with 137 hospitalizations and 36 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 3,457 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 556,106 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, more than 3.6 million cases have been confirmed with 59,372 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 14, 2021 - 13 New Cases Reported Today; More Than 30,000 County Residents Fully Vaccinated

13 New Cases Reported Today

Thirteen new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Humboldt County today, and one previously reported case was determined to be a duplicate and was removed. The total number of county residents who have tested positive now stands at 3,572.

More Than 30,000 County Residents Fully Vaccinated

Of Humboldt County’s estimated 135,940 residents, 30,444 have been fully vaccinated. That represents 22.4% of the total population and 27.1% of residents who are 16 and over and currently qualify for vaccination. 

All local vaccination data have been updated on the Humboldt County Data Dashboard. Highlights include:

  • 76,329 vaccine doses have been administered in the county.
  • About 36% of the county’s population has received at least one dose of vaccine, meaning more than 1 in 3 residents have some protection against the virus.
  • 66.5% of county residents age 75 and over are fully vaccinated. 59.1% of those age 65-74 are fully vaccinated.

The Humboldt County homepage now includes some local data about vaccinations, including the total number of vaccine doses administered, the number of county residents who have received at least one dose and the number of county residents who are fully vaccinated. This data will be updated each Wednesday. 

Go to humboldtgov.org/Dashboard to access the Dashboard. To view vaccine data only, visit humboldtgov.org/VaccineData

Johnson & Johnson Pause Continues; Other Vaccines Available This Week

The pause in administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine continues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met today to review the cases of six women who developed rare but severe blood clots within six to 13 days of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. While the duration of the pause is still unknown, local health officials believe this will have minimal impact on local vaccination efforts due to the small allocation of this vaccine received by the county. 

Anyone whose appointment has been affected by the pause can go to MyTurn.ca.gov to reschedule for a different vaccine or call the Joint Information Center at 707-441-5000 for information.  

View the Humboldt County Data 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: mhealthappointments.com/covidappt
CVS Pharmacy: cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine?icid=cvs-home-hero1-link2-coronavirus-vaccine
Rite Aid: https://www.riteaid.com/covid-19
Walgreen’s: walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19
Walmart: 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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About The Author

Iridian Casarez

Bio:
Iridian Casarez is a staff writer at the North Coast Journal.

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