Wednesday, July 14, 2021

HumCo Records 53rd COVID-19 Death

Posted By on Wed, Jul 14, 2021 at 3:04 PM

click to enlarge 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.
For the second day in a row, Public Health is reporting that another Humboldt County resident has died with COVID-19, while also reporting 12 new cases and another hospitalization.

The county's 53rd COVID-related death — and the third this month — was a resident in their 60s, according to a press release.

Today's cases make 56 so far this week and were reported after laboratories processed 253 samples with a test-positivity rate of 4.7 percent. According to a state database, nine people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including three under intensive care.

Over the past week, local officials have been warning that residents age 19 and younger are increasingly accounting for case spread locally amid an upwelling in cases of the Delta variant, which now accounts for one in four infections nationally. The Delta variant is believed to be more contagious than other COVID-19 varieties and to result in more severe illness.

On the vaccination front, the county reported yesterday that roughly 55 percent of the eligible local population is 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:


Ferndale – Tuesday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Humboldt County Fairgrounds (1250 Fifth St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Redcrest – Wednesday, July 14, from noon to 3:30 p.m. Redcrest Community Center (115 Sorenson Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka — Thursday, July 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Betty Chinn Center (133 Seventh St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka — Friday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

McKinleyville – Monday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Azalea Hall (1620 Pickett Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Tuesday, July 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eureka Boat Launch (1701 Waterfront Dr.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Fortuna – Wednesday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. River Lodge Conference Center (1800 Riverwalk Dr.) 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 4,703 cases, with 218 hospitalizations and 53 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 4,501 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 7.1 percent even as vaccinations have rendered fewer local resident susceptible to infection.

Nationwide, more than 33.7 million cases have been confirmed with 605,551 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 3.7 million cases and 63,508 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 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 14, 2021 - 1 Death, 12 New Cases Reported; 74,314 Residents with at Least One Vaccine Dose
A Humboldt County resident in their 60s has died with COVID-19, marking the county’s 53rd death. Departmental Operations Center staff extend their condolences to all who have lost a loved one to the virus.

Twelve new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed today, and one new hospitalization of a person in their 60s was also reported. A total of 4,703 residents have tested positive to date.

Health officials continue to urge eligible, unvaccinated members of the community to get fully vaccinated. Vaccination protects against serious illness and death while also offering some protection to children who are not yet old enough to get vaccinated.

A total of 74,314 county residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since it became available. Of the total county population, 48.7% are fully vaccinated and another 6.0% are partially vaccinated. Of eligible residents ages 12 and older, 55.7% are fully vaccinated and another 6.8% are partially vaccinated.

To view the latest vaccination data, see the Humboldt County Data Dashboard at humboldtgov.org/dashboard.

Vaccine is available at Public Health clinics and at 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.

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

Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center (133 Seventh St.)

Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Friday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way)

Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

McKinleyville – Monday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Azalea Hall (1620 Pickett Road)

Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Tuesday, July 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Eureka Boat Launch (1701 Waterfront Dr.)

Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Fortuna – Wednesday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

River Lodge Conference Center (1800 Riverwalk Dr.)

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.

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.

The Humboldt County website at humboldtgov.org has been redesigned for improved readability and navigation to assist community members in locating county information and services. Select COVID Info from the homepage to locate testing or vaccination resources or to view local statistics at humboldtgov.org/2927/Departmental-Operations-Center.

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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