Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Public Health Confirms 10 New COVID-19 Cases, Reports Daily Walk-in Vaccine Clinics

Posted By on Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 2:29 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 10 new COVID-19 cases and a new hospitalization today — making 44 so far this week — while also reporting thousands of vaccination doses will be available at walk-in clinics in Arcata beginning tomorrow.

The cases were confirmed after laboratories processed 56 samples with a test positivity rate of 17.9 percent, bringing the county's cumulative case total too 3,361.

Public Health reported Friday the county expected to receive 7,440 doses of vaccine this week — a marked decrease from the more than 11,000 received last week. Those wanting a vaccine can also register online through www.myturn.ca.gov, and Public Health reports there are "many" appointments available.

Today, public health reported that the Arcata Community Center will hold walk-in vaccination clinics on a first come, first served basis from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. (See the press release below for the schedule of which vaccine will be offered on which days.)

The county also reported yesterday that a geofencing function on the state's website has posed complications for rural residents trying to make vaccine appointments and suggests county residents enter only "Humboldt County" on the "Let's Find An Appointment" page rather than their zip code. Anyone with questions can call the Joint Information Center at 441-5000.

Earlier this month, 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.

The state of California, meanwhile, updated its COVID-19 risk tiers, keeping Humboldt County in the moderate or "orange" tier it entered earlier this month, 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 state data released today showed that Humboldt County has a test positive rate of 2.3 percent (compared to 1.1 percent last week) and a daily case rate of 4.7 per 100,000 compared to the prior week's two. California overall, meanwhile, reports a 1.7 percent test-positivity rate and five 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 3,631 cases, with 140 hospitalizations and 38 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 3,493 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 31.4 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 564,292 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, more than 3.6 million cases have been confirmed with 59,804 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 20, 2021 - Thousands of Vaccine Doses Available
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
There are currently thousands of vaccine doses available at clinics this week with walk-in hours every day starting Wednesday.

Clinics are held at the Arcata Community Center, located at 321 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pkwy., with walk-in hours from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. These availabilities are for those seeking their first or second dose.

Walk-ins are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, although booking an appointment is the best way to ensure a vaccine is available when you want it. Spanish and English speakers are available at every clinic.

Appointments for Moderna and Pfizer clinics this week can be made at MyTurn.ca.gov. When prompted to “Enter your address or ZIP code,” county residents should enter only “Humboldt County” on the “Let’s Find an Appointment” page of the My Turn website, the third page of the appointment scheduler. This means residents will input “Humboldt County” in two different places.

All county residents age 16 and older can register, but 16- and 17-year-olds should sign up only for the Pfizer vaccine. Minors must have proof of age and be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The following clinics and vaccines are available by appointment and for walk-ins:

Wednesday — Moderna (18 and older)
Thursday — Pfizer (16 and older)
Friday — Moderna (18 and older)
Saturday — Pfizer (16 and older)
Sunday — Moderna and Pfizer (16 and older)

Ten New Cases Reported Today
Ten new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Humboldt County today, bringing the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus to 3,631.

Humboldt Remains in the ‘Orange’ Tier
Today the California Department of Public Health announced that Humboldt County will remain in the “Orange” or Moderate tier with an adjusted case rate of 4.6 and a positivity rate of 2.3%.

To move into the “Yellow” or Minimal tier, a county must have an adjusted case rate of less than 2 per 100,000 and have less than 2% positivity rate for two consecutive weeks.


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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Thadeus Greenson

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

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