Monday, May 3, 2021

Public Health Reports 33 New COVID-19 Cases, Youngest Hospitalization To Date

Posted By on Mon, May 3, 2021 at 3:15 PM

Humboldt County Public Health reported today that it has confirmed 33 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, along with three new hospitalizations.

Public Health also reported today that it has confirmed 17 COVID-related hospitalizations since last Monday, including nine patients under the age of 60 and one between the ages of 10 and 19, the youngest local resident hospitalized with the disease to date.

According to a state database, 13 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including four receiving intensive care.

Today's cases were confirmed after laboratories processed 625 samples with a test-positivity rate of 5.3 percent, bringing the county's cumulative case total to 3,885.

Last week, Public Health confirmed 137 cases, up from 130 the week prior. Public Health urges all residents who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms to get tested, with a wide variety of no-cost options.

Public Health reported Friday that it would receive 6,360 doses of vaccine this week — 3,894 of Pfizer, 2,116 of Moderna and 350 of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson. Of those, Public Health plans to administer more than 4,900 doses at second-dose mass vaccination clinics next week. That leaves about 1,100 for first doses, in addition to the 350 Johnson & Johnson doses, with nearly a third of eligible local residents now fully vaccinated.

Today, Public Health announced it will hold a mass-vaccination clinic in Rio Dell from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Rio Dell Volunteer Fire Department. (People are urged to schedule an appointment at www.myturn.ca.gov.)

The state of California updated its COVID-19 risk tiers last week, 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 showed that Humboldt County has a test positive rate of 3.1 percent (compared to 2.3 percent last week) and a daily case rate of 5.9 per 100,000 compared to the prior week's 4.7. California overall, meanwhile, reports a 1.5 percent test-positivity rate and 4.7 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 3,885 cases, with 164 hospitalizations and 38 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 3,636 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. Since then, it has jumped to more than 7 percent.

Nationwide, more than 32.2 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 574,220 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, more than 3.6 million cases have been confirmed with 60,763 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:

May 3, 2021 - 33 New Cases Reported Since Friday; Vaccination Clinic Scheduled in Rio Dell Thursday

707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
Thirty-three additional cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Humboldt County since the most recent report on Friday. A total of 3,885 county residents have tested positive for the virus.

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic is scheduled this Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rio Dell Volunteer Fire Department located at 50 Center St. This is Public Health’s only mass-vaccination clinic scheduled this week for county residents who have not received any dose of vaccine. Sign up in advance at MyTurn.ca.gov.

The daily, weekly and monthly datasets on the Humboldt County Data Dashboard have been updated. Some highlights include:

The county’s confirmed case rate is 2,842 per 100,000 residents, which is less than one-third of the state and national rates of 9,222 and 9,829 respectively.
Locals in the 20-29 age group represent 23.3% of cases, the highest number of any age group.
The county is reporting 17 hospitalizations related to COVID-19 since last Monday’s report. Nine of those are people under the age of 60, including a child between the ages of 10 and 19.
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. 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
Vaccine Finder: VaccineFinder.org
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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