Thursday, July 8, 2021

Public Health Reports Seven New COVID-19 Cases, 55% of Eligible Residents Now Fully Vaxed

Posted By on Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 3:53 PM

click to enlarge PUBLIC HEALTH
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Humboldt County Public Health confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases today after laboratories processed 242 samples with a test-positivity rate of 2.9 percent.

The county also reported that one previously reported hospitalization has been removed from the local tally after it was determined that while the patient had COVID-19, the virus wasn't the reason they were hospitalized. According to a state database, six people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including four under intensive care.

Public Health reported Tuesday that it is increasingly seeing cases of infection in children, noting that 10 of 53 cases since June 28 had been in children age 9 or younger.

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.”

On the vaccination front, the county reported that 48 percent of the local population and 54.8 percent of eligible residents are now fully vaccinated. Sixty-two percent of eligible residents have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to a press release.

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:

 
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

Arcata – Sunday, July 11, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Arcata United Methodist Church (1761 11th St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Thursday, July 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Betty Chinn Center (133 Seventh 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.

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 4,621 cases, with 214 hospitalizations and 51 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 4,468 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 33.6 million cases have been confirmed with 603,958 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 3.7 million cases and 63,317 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 toay. 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 8, 2021 - 7 New Cases Reported Today

A total of 4,621 Humboldt County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after seven new cases were reported today.

One previously reported hospitalization has been removed from the county’s count. Although the individual tested positive for COVID-19, their admission to the hospital was unrelated to the virus.

With new cases on the rise across the state and the presence of the more contagious Delta variant in the community, public health officials continue to advise all eligible residents to get fully vaccinated.

Scientific evidence has demonstrated that vaccination protects against serious illness and death from COVID-19 and its variants, including Delta. Local breakthrough cases have been generally mild, and local public health officials report that only a very small number of fully vaccinated residents have been hospitalized for complications related to COVID-19. Notably, none of the 51 Humboldt County residents who have died with the virus were vaccinated.

Humboldt County Public Health and other approved local vaccinators have administered a total of 132,657 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination data on the Humboldt County Data Dashboard has been updated with the latest information from the California Immunization Registry (CAIR). Some highlights include:

65,181 people have been fully vaccinated, and another 8,535 people partially vaccinated.
48% of the county’s total population, which is estimated at 135,940 residents, is fully vaccinated.
54.8% of the vaccine-eligible population is fully vaccinated.
62% of the eligible population have received at least one dose of vaccine, meaning they have some protection against the virus.
Data provided by the California Department of Public Health, which includes additional information not reflected in the CAIR database, reports 134,101 doses have been administered in Humboldt County, and that 74.9% of the county’s eligible population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

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

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

Arcata – Sunday, July 11, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Arcata United Methodist Church (1761 11th St.)

Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Thursday, July 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Betty Chinn Center (133 Seventh St.)

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 Moderna, may also 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.

The California Vax for the Win incentive program continues to offer residents who get vaccinated a $50 virtual cash or grocery card while supplies last. See covid19.ca.gov/vax-for-the-win/ for details about this state program.

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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