Friday, July 30, 2021

Public Health Confirms Record 69 New COVID-19 Cases, Four New Hospitalizations

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2021 at 3:40 PM

PUBLIC HEALTH
  • public health
Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 69 new COVID-19 cases today — the county's highest single-day count to date — while also reporting four new hospitalizations amid growing fears of the Delta variant's spread.

Today's cases — making 217 this week, the highest weekly tally since the post-holiday surge in January — were reported after laboratories processed 472 samples with a test-positivity rate of 14.6 percent. For the month of July, the county saw a test-positivity rate of 10.1 percent, the highest for any month since the pandemic began.

According to a state database, nine people remain hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including three under intensive care.

The local case news comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released new data today indicating the Delta variant is highly transmittable, even among fully vaccinated people. While data indicates the vaccines remain highly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death, the CDC warns that it leads to very high viral loads even among vaccinated, mildly symptomatic people, meaning they can still easily transmit the virus to others.

Yesterday, the Humboldt County Administrative Office announced that as of tomorrow facial coverings will be required in all county facilities, warning the current surge in cases poses a "real threat" to the county's ability to provide vital services.

Days after Humboldt County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their mask guidance, the California Department of Public Health followed suit in recommending that everyone — regardless of vaccination status – wear a mask while indoors in public spaces for regions with high levels of virus transmission, which includes Humboldt County. According to the CDC, more than 90 percent of California residents are in areas of high or substantial transmission, including Humboldt.

The recommendation to continue masking comes after the increased spread of the Delta variant, which is more contagious than other COVID-19 varieties and can result in more severe illness. The Delta variant now accounts for nearly 85 percent of new infections nationally. Earlier this week, Public Health reported that the Delta variant was found in 25 percent of samples that underwent genomic sequencing last month.

Public Health is urging residents to help limit the spread of the virus by wearing masks indoors in public, participating in contact tracing efforts and getting vaccinated.

According to the release, Public Health is prioritizing contact tracing investigations based on risk due to the surge in local COVID cases. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is urged to assist contact investigators in quickly identifying their close contacts, defined as those who have been within six feet for 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period.

Public Health is urging residents who have yet to do so to get their COVID-19 vaccines, as it is the only protection against severe illness and death from the virus. This week's Public Health vaccine clinics include Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson doses. The full schedule includes:

Eureka – Friday, July 30, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Transition-Age Youth (TAY) Division (433 M St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Saturday, July 31, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Get Out and Play Day (Sequoia Park, 3414 W St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Fields Landing – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Fields Landing Boat Ramp (End of Railroad Ave., South Humboldt Bay)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

King Salmon – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Gills by the Bay (77 Halibut Ave.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Thursday, Aug. 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
Pfizer/Moderna

McKinleyville – Friday, Aug. 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Six Rivers Brewery (1300 Central Ave.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

McKinleyville – Friday, Aug. 6, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Dollar General (1180 Murray Road) 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.

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Defense Department Now Requiring Vaccinations or Regular COVID Tests

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2021 at 8:42 AM

The Defense Department announced Thursday that all civilian employees and military personnel will be required to show proof of vaccination or wear a mask and provide regular COVID-19 test results.

“The Department of Defense is moving quickly to meet President Biden’s commitment to defeat COVID-19, and that includes being able to ensure every member of our civilian and military workforce is protected,” said Jamal Brown, deputy Pentagon press secretary, in a statement late Thursday.

Vaccinations were given pierside to the USS San Diego’s crew and embarked Marines in March. - U.S. NAVY
  • U.S. Navy
  • Vaccinations were given pierside to the USS San Diego’s crew and embarked Marines in March.

“In accordance with the guidance the President issued today, all military and civilian DoD personnel will be asked to attest to their vaccination status,” said Brown. “Personnel unable or unwilling to do that will be required to wear a mask, physically distance, comply with a regular testing requirement and be subject to official travel restrictions.”

The new requirement comes as cases of the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus vaccine cause cases to surge among unvaccinated Americans.

“COVID-19 remains a significant and evolving threat to our nation’s security,” Brown said. “The rise of the delta variant and the speed with which it transmits make these additional protective efforts all the more vital to protecting our force and the nation we defend.”

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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Public Health Confirms 35 New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 3:35 PM

Humboldt County Public Health Microbiologist Annayal Yikum prepares patient samples for the COVID-19 testing process. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Humboldt County Public Health Microbiologist Annayal Yikum prepares patient samples for the COVID-19 testing process.


Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 35 new COVID-19 cases today — making 148 so far this week — after laboratories processed 407 samples with a test-positivity rate of 8.6 percent.

Last week, the county recorded 169 new cases, the highest weekly tally since the post-holiday surge in late January.

No new hospitalizations were reported but, according to a state database, 10 people remain hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including four under intensive care.

Earlier today, the Humboldt County Administrative Office announced that as of tomorrow facial coverings will be required in all county facilities, warning the current surge in cases poses a "real threat" to the county's ability to provide vital services.

Days after Humboldt County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their mask guidance, the California Department of Public Health followed suit in recommending that everyone — regardless of vaccination status – wear a mask while indoors in public spaces for regions with high levels of virus transmission, which includes Humboldt County. According to the CDC, more than 90 percent of California residents are in areas of high or substantial transmission, including Humboldt.

The recommendation to continue masking comes after the increased spread of the Delta variant, which is believed to be more contagious than other COVID-19 varieties and results in more severe illness. The Delta variant now accounts for nearly 85 percent of new infections nationally. Earlier this week, Public Health reported that the Delta variant was found in 25 percent of samples that underwent genomic sequencing last month.

Public Health is urging residents to help limit the spread of the virus by wearing masks indoors in public, participating in contact tracing efforts and getting vaccinated.

According to the release, Public Health is prioritizing contact tracing investigations based on risk due to the surge in local COVID cases. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is urged to assist contact investigators in quickly identifying their close contacts, defined as those who have been within six feet for 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period.

Public Health is urging residents who have yet to do so to get their COVID-19 vaccines, as it is the only protection against severe illness and death from the virus. This week's Public Health vaccine clinics include Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson doses. The full schedule includes:

Trinidad – Thursday, July 29, from noon to 3 p.m.
Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Thursday, July 29, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Eureka Summer Concert Series (Madaket Plaza, 1 C St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Friday, July 30, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Transition-Age Youth (TAY) Division (433 M St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Saturday, July 31, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Get Out and Play Day (Sequoia Park, 3414 W St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Fields Landing – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Fields Landing Boat Ramp (End of Railroad Ave., South Humboldt Bay)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

King Salmon – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Gills by the Bay (77 Halibut Ave.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Thursday, Aug. 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
Pfizer/Moderna

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.

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Humboldt Mandates Masking in County Facilities

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 2:20 PM

SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
The Humboldt County Administrative Office announced today that facial coverings will be required in all county facilities as of tomorrow.

The county notes that the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant — which now accounts for more than 80 percent of cases in California — disease spread and associated hospitalizations have been on the rise, while a significant portion of Humboldt County residents remain unvaccinated.

"Universal masking in public adds an extra precautionary measure for all to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, especially in communities currently seeing the highest transmission rates, such as ours," the county said in a press release.
"Changes in recommendations like these are not taken lightly but are necessary to protect the public, stop spread of the disease among the unvaccinated and keep our institutions fully functioning."


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Vaccine Clinics Planned for Young Adults

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 1:27 PM

Humboldt County's SnapNurse team (left to right) Gisselle Lujan, Isobel Roa, Sharmain Kevianne, Katrina Tucker, and Robert Salazar. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY DHHS
  • Photo courtesy of Humboldt County DHHS
  • Humboldt County's SnapNurse team (left to right) Gisselle Lujan, Isobel Roa, Sharmain Kevianne, Katrina Tucker, and Robert Salazar.
In an effort to reach more young adults, who account for 21.8 percent of positive COVID-19 cases locally, and get them vaccinated, Humboldt County Public Health's mobile vaccine unit will host clinics during several community events in Eureka, including the city of Eureka's annual Get Out and Play Day.

Public Health's mobile vaccine clinics will also be heading to the Department of Health and Human Services' Transitional-Age Youth Division "TAY" location (433 M St., Eureka) from 1 to 4 p.m. tomorrow. The first 30 young adults to receive a dose will get a $25 Coming Attractions gift card. TAY will also be tabling, offering additional resources to those 16 to 26 years old.

Young adults ages 20 to 29 account for the county's highest positive COVID cases by age group, as they make up more than 20 percent of positive cases, while residents ages 10 to 19 account for 13 percent of positive cases.

The county dashboard states that about 28 percent of kids ages 12 to 15 are fully vaccinated, while 9 percent are partially vaccinated; 37 percent of young adults ages 16 to 19 are fully vaccinated, with another 5 percent partially vaccinated; 40 percent of young adults ages 20-29 are fully vaccinated, with 5 percent partially vaccinated.

Public Health has urged residents to get their COVID vaccines and stated that it is vital protection from the virus. Scientific evidence has found that although some vaccinated individuals can still get the disease in "break-through" cases, the vaccines protect against severe illness and death.

Public Health's mobile vaccine clinic will also be at the city of Eureka's annual Get Out and Play Pay at Sequoia Park on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Walk-ins are welcome at all Public Health clinics or people can sign up in advance at www.MyTurn.ca.gov. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for children as young as 12 years old. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized for those 18 and older. For more information about the vaccines, consult your medical provider or contact the Joint Information Center at 441-5000.

Read the full press release below.


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Arcata City Council Appoints New Member

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 12:11 PM

Meredith Matthews
  • Meredith Matthews
The Arcata City Council selected Meredith Matthews to serve the remainder of former Mayor Sofia Pereira's term last night following a candidate forum.

Matthews, an administrative specialist with the Redwood Coast Energy Authority who sits on the Arcata Chamber of Commerce board and previously served on the city's Economic Development Committee, was one of seven city residents who applied for the seat. She is expected to sworn in on Aug. 18, with her term running through November of 2022.

“I just am so honored to have been appointed to serve on the Arcata City Council," Matthews said in a city news release. "Every single candidate who participated in the forum was amazing and had such wonderful things to bring to the table, and I promise Arcata that I will do my due diligence to represent each and every member of the community. I am just so honored.”

Pereira stepped down last month to become the county’s Public Health director. At a June 24 special meeting, the city council opted to move forward with an appointment rather than hold a special election.

Last night's candidate forum is available online on the city's YouTube channel or by visiting cityofarcata.org.


Find the full release below:
Arcata, CA, July 29, 2021 – At the Arcata City Council Candidate Forum last night, the Arcata City Council appointed Meredith Matthews to serve out the remainder of Sofia Pereira’s term of office. Pereira officially stepped down from her seat on the Council on Friday, June 25 to take on a new role as Humboldt County’s Director of Public Health, and the Arcata City Council made the decision to appoint a new Council Member to serve the remainder of her term.

The Arcata City Council Candidate Forum provided the opportunity for the City Council and members of the public to get to know the candidates, and community members were able to submit questions in advance of the forum.

Of her appointment last night, Matthews said, “I just am so honored to have been appointed to serve on the Arcata City Council. Every single candidate who participated in the forum was amazing and had such wonderful things to bring to the table, and I promise Arcata that I will do my due diligence to represent each and every member of the community. I am just so honored.”

Matthews is expected to be officially sworn in at the beginning of the Wednesday, August 18th City Council meeting, and her term will end in November of 2022.

To watch a recording of last night’s forum online, please visit cityofarcata.org or visit the City of Arcata’s YouTube channel here. For more information and updates on City meetings and the Arcata City Council, visit cityofarcata.org or call (707) 822-5953.
Read Meredith Matthews' candidate statement below:
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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

HumCo Confirms 21 New COVID Cases, Tops 5,000

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2021 at 3:59 PM

Humboldt County's COVID-19 case count has topped 5,000 cases as Public Health confirmed 21 new COVID cases today, bringing the countywide total to 5,010.

Today's positive cases come after laboratories processed 342 samples.

According to a state database, 15 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including four under intensive care.

Days after Humboldt County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their mask guidance, the California Department of Public Health followed suit in recommending that everyone – regardless of vaccination status – wear a mask while indoors in public spaces for regions with high levels of virus transmission, which includes Humboldt County. According to the CDC, more than 90 percent of California residents are in areas of high or substantial transmission.

The recommendation to continue masking comes after the increased spread of the Delta variant, which is believed to be more contagious than other COVID-19 varieties and results in more severe illness. The Delta variant now accounts for nearly 85 percent of new infections nationally. Earlier this week, Public Health reported that the Delta variant was found in 25 percent of samples that underwent genomic sequencing last month.

Public Health is urging residents to help limit the spread of the virus by wearing masks indoors in public, participating in contact tracing efforts and getting vaccinated.

According to the release, Public Health is prioritizing contact tracing investigations based on risk due to the surge in local COVID cases. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is urged to assist contact investigators in quickly identifying their close contacts, defined as those who have been within six feet for 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period.

Public Health is urging residents who have yet to do so to get their COVID-19 vaccines, as it is the only protection against severe illness and death from the virus. This week's Public Health vaccine clinics include Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson doses. The full schedule includes:

Trinidad – Thursday, July 29, from noon to 3 p.m.
Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Thursday, July 29, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Eureka Summer Concert Series (Madaket Plaza, 1 C St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Friday, July 30, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Transition-Age Youth (TAY) Division (433 M St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Saturday, July 31, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Get Out and Play Day (Sequoia Park, 3414 W St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Fields Landing – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Fields Landing Boat Ramp (End of Railroad Ave., South Humboldt Bay)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

King Salmon – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Gills by the Bay (77 Halibut Ave.)
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.

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Kokatat Paddling Apparel Under New Ownership

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2021 at 12:33 PM

Kokatat paddle gear - PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL COLLIN
  • Photo courtesy of Michael Collin
  • Kokatat paddle gear
After 50 years of owning Kokatat, Steve O'Meara has sold the Arcata-based
paddling sports apparel and gear company to its Director of Operations Mark Loughmiller.

“Before joining Kokatat, Mark was a local businessman and I’m pleased to be entrusting the company that means so much to me and our employees into his hands,” said O’Meara in a press release.

O'Meara founded Kokatat, then Blue Puma, in 1971 as a way to help people stay dry while traversing Humboldt County's trails and waterways.

According to the company's release, Loughmiller will become the new CEO and O’Meara will retain a minor stake in the company.

“Kokatat is not only a cornerstone brand in paddlesports, but also in our community,” said Loughmiller. “Steve has created an amazing brand that will forever be tied to Arcata and we look forward to building on this foundation for another 50 years and beyond.”

Read the full press release below.
Kokatat announces new ownership

ARCATA, CA (July 28, 2021) – After 50 years under the direction and ownership of its founder, Steve O’Meara, Kokatat has been purchased by the company’s Director of Operations Mark Loughmiller.

“Before joining Kokatat Mark was a local businessman and I’m pleased to be entrusting the company that means so much to me and our employees into his hands,” said O’Meara.

Loughmiller joined Kokatat in 2013 after 12 years as the Executive Director of Arcata Community Recycling Center.

“Kokatat is not only a cornerstone brand in paddlesports, but also in our community,” said Loughmiller. “Steve has created an amazing brand that will forever be tied to Arcata and we look forward to building on this foundation for another 50 years and beyond.”

2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Kokatat. O’Meara started Kokatat, then Blue Puma, in 1971 purely as a way to help get people out on the trails and waterways of Humboldt County. On one fateful day he was approached by some friends to see if he would build them some better paddling apparel for an expedition they were planning on the Alsek River in British Columbia.  Today, Kokatat is recognized as a global leader in performance paddle sports apparel and gear.

Following the purchase, Loughmiller will become the company’s CEO and O’Meara will retain a minor stake in the company.“Before joining Kokatat Mark was a local businessman and I’m pleased to be entrusting the company that means so much to me and our employees into his hands,” said O’Meara.


Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

About Kokatat Inc.
Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for 50 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel. Into the water with Kokatat! Learn more at kokatat.com.

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CDC Recommends Humboldt County Mask Up Due to High COVID Transmission Rates

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2021 at 6:56 AM

The CDC is once again recommending everyone — including the fully vaccinated — wear masks in public spaces in areas of high COVID-19 transmission, which includes Humboldt County. - PHOTO BY ZACH LATHOURIS
  • Photo by Zach Lathouris
  • The CDC is once again recommending everyone — including the fully vaccinated — wear masks in public spaces in areas of high COVID-19 transmission, which includes Humboldt County.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance yesterday recommending that everyone — regardless of vaccination status — resume wearing masks in public, indoor spaces in areas with "high" or "substantial" rates of COVID-19 transmission, which includes Humboldt County.

While cases of severe illness, hospitalization and death in fully vaccinated individuals remain very rare, officials say they are seeing increased rates of so-called "breakthrough" cases amid a surge in the more contagious Delta variant, which now accounts for 85 percent of cases nationally. As such, the CDC is urging fully vaccinated people to consider again masking in public to help prevent virus spread, particularly if they live with someone who is immunocompromised, has underlying health conditions that put them at elevated risk of severe disease or is not fully vaccinated.

"Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant," the CDC reported. "However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others."


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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Public Health Confirms 18 New COVID Cases, One Hospitalization

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 5:10 PM

A Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory employee processes a COVID-19 test. - PUBLIC HEALTH
  • Public health
  • A Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory employee processes a COVID-19 test.
Humboldt County Public Health has confirmed 18 new COVID-19 cases and one new hospitalization of a person in their 60s, bringing the countywide total to 4,989.

Today's results come after laboratories processed 62 samples.

According to a state database, 16 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including four under intensive care.

In a press release today, Public Health highlighted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's revised masking guidance due to the increased spread of the Delta variant, which is believed to be more contagious than other COVID-19 varieties and results in more severe illness, stating that all people, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a mask indoors in public areas of substantial or high virus transmission, which includes Humboldt County.

"CDC’s recommendations are based on preliminary evidence indicating that while vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19 are unlikely to become severely ill from the virus, they can spread it to others," the release states. (Read more about the CDC's new masking guidance here.)

The CDC's announcement comes a day after Humboldt County Public Health's recommendation that all county residents wear a mask indoors in all public spaces to limit the spread of the Delta variant, which now accounts for nearly 85 percent of new infections nationally. In yesterday's county COVID press release, public health reported that the Delta variant was found in 25 percent of samples that underwent genomic sequencing last month.

Public Health is still urging residents who have yet to do so to get their COVID-19 vaccines, as it is the only protection against severe illness and death from the virus. This week's Public Health vaccine clinics include Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson doses. The full schedule includes:

Willow Creek – Wednesday, July 28, from 2 to 6 p.m.
Willow Creek Community Resource Center (38883 Hwy. 299)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Trinidad – Thursday, July 29, from noon to 3 p.m.
Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Thursday, July 29, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Eureka Summer Concert Series (Madaket Plaza, 1 C St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Friday, July 30, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Transition-Age Youth (TAY) Division (433 M St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Saturday, July 31, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Get Out and Play Day (Sequoia Park, 3414 W St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Fields Landing – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Fields Landing Boat Ramp (End of Railroad Ave., South Humboldt Bay)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

King Salmon – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Gills by the Bay (77 Halibut Ave.)
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 4,989 cases, with 229 hospitalizations and 53 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 4,674 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 but fell back to 5.9 percent in June. In July, it has risen to 9.9 percent even as vaccinations have rendered fewer local residents susceptible to infection.

Nationwide, more than 34.5 million cases have been confirmed with 608,113 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 3.9 million cases and 64,265 related deaths have been confirmed in California, according to the Department of Public Health.

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 JIC release below:

July 27, 2021 - 18 New Cases; CDC Revises Masking, Testing Guidance for Vaccinated Individuals

Eighteen new cases of COVID-19 and one new hospitalization of a person in their 60s have been reported in Humboldt County today. The total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus now stands at 4,989.

Citing the increased spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today revised its masking guidance to recommend that all people, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in public in areas of substantial or high virus transmission, which includes Humboldt County.

If a vaccinated individual’s household includes vulnerable individuals such as young children or those who are immunocompromised, the CDC advises indoor masking in public settings whatever the level of transmission. In order to limit the spread of Delta, the CDC also recommended that fully vaccinated individuals with symptoms and those who are exposed to a person known or suspected to have COVID-19 get tested.

CDC’s recommendations are based on preliminary evidence indicating that while vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19 are unlikely to become severely ill from the virus, they can spread it to others. Read more about the recommendations at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html.

Today’s announcement follows Humboldt County Public Health’s recent recommendation that local residents wear a mask in indoor public places to protect against spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Vaccination continues to be the best protection against severe illness and death from COVID-19. Vaccines are available at Public Health vaccination clinics and most local pharmacies. Walk-ins are welcome at all Public Health clinics, or sign up in advance at MyTurn.ca.gov. See the clinic schedule for the next seven days below.

Willow Creek – Wednesday, July 28, from 2 to 6 p.m.
     Willow Creek Community Resource Center (38883 Hwy. 299)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Trinidad – Thursday, July 29, from noon to 3 p.m.
    Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity St.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Thursday, July 29, from 5 to 8 p.m.
    Eureka Summer Concert Series (Madaket Plaza, 1 C St.)
    Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Friday, July 30, from 1 to 4 p.m.
     Transition-Age Youth (TAY) Division (433 M St.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Saturday, July 31, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     Get Out and Play Day (Sequoia Park, 3414 W St.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Fields Landing – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from noon to 2:30 p.m.
     Fields Landing Boat Ramp (End of Railroad Ave., South Humboldt Bay)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

King Salmon – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
    Gills by the Bay (77 Halibut Ave.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

In addition to the clinic scheduled in Willow Creek, COVID-19 vaccines are also available through health care providers in the eastern part of the county. For information, contact K’ima:w Medical Center in Hoopa at 530-625-4261, United Indian Health Services in Weitchpec at 530-625-4300 or Open Door Willow Creek Community Health Center at 530-629-3111.

The Pfizer vaccine is approved for children as young as 12 years old. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized for those 18 and older.

To check availability of these vaccines, as well as Moderna, at local pharmacies, visit vaccines.gov or text a ZIP code to 438829 to find a participating pharmacy nearby. Most pharmacies allow walk-ins.

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.

Sign up for COVID-19 vaccination: MyTurn.ca.gov
Check for vaccine availability at a local pharmacy: Vaccines.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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