Tuesday, June 22, 2021

49th Humboldt Resident Dies of COVID-19

Posted By on Tue, Jun 22, 2021 at 4:44 PM

Another Humboldt County resident has died with COVID, Public Health reported today, and nine new COVID-19 cases were confirmed. A person in their 40s was also hospitalized.

The individual who died was over 80. Last week, two local residents, one in their 60s and one in their 70s, died of the virus.

Today's case results came after laboratories processed 93 samples with a test-positivity rate of 9.7 percent. According to a state database, 13 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including four under intensive care.

Meanwhile, Public Health vaccinations clinics scheduled this week in Bridgeville, Redcrest and Eureka will include the Pfizer vaccine, the only one authorized for those 12 to 17.

Clinic schedule:

Eureka – Wednesday, June 23 – 2 to 6 p.m. College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Redcrest – Thursday, June 24 – Noon to 3:30 p.m. Redcrest Community Center (115 Sorenson Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Bridgeville – Friday, June 25 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bridgeville Baptist Church (48215 Alderpoint Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Saturday, June 26 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eureka High School cafeteria (1915 J St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
To make an appointment in advance or view additional vaccination opportunities and to request help with transportation, visit www.vaccines.gov or www.myturn.ca.gov.

To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 4,508 cases, with 206 hospitalizations and 49 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 4,351 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 before inching back up to 5.9 percent in April. In May, it jumped to 8.3 percent. The positivity rate for the last week is 5.8 percent.

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 and other newly opened screening site information can be found here.

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:

A Humboldt County resident over the age of 80 has died with COVID-19. Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center staff extend their condolences to the person’s friends, family and caregivers.

Nine new cases of the virus were reported today, and one county resident in their 40s has been hospitalized for COVID-19. A total of 4,508 county residents have tested positive for the virus, and 206 residents have been hospitalized.

Cal/OSHA recently revised its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards regulating workplaces throughout the state. Business owners and employers are urged to read the guidance in detail at dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/ETS.html.

While Cal/OSHA establishes masking policies for workers, customer masking is determined by each individual business. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) provides (cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx), three options for businesses to accommodate unvaccinated individuals: Provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry. Implement vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask. Require all patrons to wear masks.

The Humboldt County Joint Information Center has created three fliers, one for each masking accommodation outlined by CDPH. Businesses can download and print the flier that reflects their policy to display on storefronts or entrances. Access the fliers and find more information about ongoing COVID-19 prevention measures at humboldtgov.org/2911/Guidance-for-industry-and-events.

Health officials say the best way to protect co-workers, friends and family members is to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Humboldt County Public Health vaccination clinics are scheduled this week in Eureka, Redcrest and Bridgeville. Walk-ins are welcome at all of these clinics. Make an appointment in advance or view additional vaccination options at MyTurn.ca.gov.

Scheduled Public Health clinics are listed below.

Eureka – Wednesday, June 23 – 2 to 6 p.m. College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Redcrest – Thursday, June 24 – Noon to 3:30 p.m. Redcrest Community Center (115 Sorenson Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Bridgeville – Friday, June 25 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bridgeville Baptist Church (48215 Alderpoint Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Saturday, June 26 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eureka High School cafeteria (1915 J St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

County residents age 12 and older can receive the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized for people 18 and older. Minor children must be accompanied to the clinic by a parent or guardian. Minor consent forms are available online in English and Spanish and may be printed and filled out for each minor child before coming to the clinic.

English: humboldtgov.org/MinorConsentEnglish

Español: humboldtgov.org/MinorConsentEspanol

COVID-19 vaccine is also available at many local pharmacies. Check availability at vaccines.gov, or text a ZIP code to 438829 to find a participating pharmacy nearby. Most pharmacies allow walk-ins.

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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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