Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Public Health Reports Another COVID-19 Death, 22 New Cases

Posted By on Tue, Jul 6, 2021 at 4:24 PM

A 51st Humboldt County resident has died with COVID-19, Public Health reported today, while also confirming 22 new cases and one new hospitalization — a resident in their 40s — since Friday.

Today's cases were reported after laboratories processed 447 samples with a test-positivity rate of 4.9 percent. Over the past two weeks, even as vaccination rates have continued to increase, the county confirmed 100 new cases of the virus locally, with six hospitalizations and two deaths.

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

"Since the last weekly update on June 28, Humboldt County has seen 53 cases of COVID-19," Public Health reported today. "Ten children between the ages of 0 and 9 tested positive for the virus over the last week. The 30 to 39 age group represented the largest increase with 13 cases reported in that time. Four county residents have been hospitalized in the last week, including three people in their 40s and one person over the age of 80."

In a press release last week, the county notes that an unspecified number of "additional cases" locally have been confirmed to be the Delta variant, which now accounts for one in four infections nationally. Health Officer Ian Hoffman said vaccination is the only thing that will curb spread of the virus and its variants.

“We are seeing cases in younger folks and sicker people hospitalized, even people in their teens,” Hoffman said in the press release. “Variants like Alpha appear to be more infectious, more contagious, to make people sicker, and hit younger folks harder than the previous versions of the virus. Until people are vaccinated, this virus will continue to circulate among unvaccinated folks, and the potential for serious illness is still very high even in the younger age group.”

All of the Public Health vaccinations clinics scheduled this week will include the one-shot Johnson & Johnson and the Pfizer vaccine, the only one authorized for those 12 to 17.

Clinic schedule:

 
Samoa – Wednesday, July 7 from 3 to 6 p.m. Samoa Women’s Club (115 Rideout Ave.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Fortuna – Thursday, July 8 from 3 to 6 p.m. Humboldt Senior Resource Center (3200 Newburg Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Arcata – Saturday, July 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Arcata Farmers’ Market (Arcata Plaza, 808 G St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Blue Lake – Sunday, July 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m. Annie & Mary Day Celebration (Blue Lake Resource Center, 111 Greenwood 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.

Last week, an advisory committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found a likely link between certain mRNA vaccines and extremely rare instances of heart inflammation, which most commonly occurred in young men and ususally cleared itself or with minor treatment. Both the CDC and the FDA continue to recommendation vaccinations for those 12 and older.

To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 4,608 cases, with 212 hospitalizations and 51 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 4,431 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.

Nationwide, more than 33.5 million cases have been confirmed with 603,181 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 3.7 million cases and 63,238 related deaths have been confirmed in California, 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 the Wharfinger Building 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 testing site moved to the Wharfinger Building. Read more 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 JIC release below:

July 6, 2021 - 1 Death, 22 New Cases Reported Today

A Humboldt County resident has died with COVID-19. Twenty-two new cases of the virus were reported today, and a person in their 40s has been hospitalized. The total number of county residents who have tested positive now stands at 4,608.

The resident who died was over the age of 80. The Humboldt County Departmental Operations Center staff extend their condolences to the person’s friends, family and caregivers.

Since the last weekly update on June 28, Humboldt County has seen 53 cases of COVID-19. Ten children between the ages of 0 and 9 tested positive for the virus over the last week. The 30 to 39 age group represented the largest increase with 13 cases reported in that time. Four county residents have been hospitalized in the last week, including three people in their 40s and one person over the age of 80.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard has been updated to reflect the latest information. View the latest data at humboldtgov.org/Dashboard.

Given the spread of the Delta variant in the community, local public health officials continue to advise residents to get fully vaccinated, noting that the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna is necessary for the full effectiveness of the vaccine. Skipping the second dose reduces the immunity provided by the vaccine and shortens its duration.

California continues its Vax for the Win incentive program. State residents 12 and older who get vaccinated will receive a $50 virtual cash or grocery card while supplies last. See covid19.ca.gov/vax-for-the-win/ for details.

Vaccine is available at Public Health clinics and at most local pharmacies. Walk-ins are welcome or sign up in advance at MyTurn.ca.gov. See the clinic schedule for the next seven days below.

Samoa – Wednesday, July 7 from 3 to 6 p.m.
Samoa Women’s Club (115 Rideout Ave.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Fortuna – Thursday, July 8 from 3 to 6 p.m.
Humboldt Senior Resource Center (3200 Newburg Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Arcata – Saturday, July 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Arcata Farmers’ Market (Arcata Plaza, 808 G St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Blue Lake – Sunday, July 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Annie & Mary Day Celebration (Blue Lake Resource Center, 111 Greenwood Ave.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

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.

These vaccines as well as the Moderna vaccine may be found 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.

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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Thadeus Greenson

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

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