Monday, July 26, 2021

Public Health Confirms 74 New COVID-19 Cases Since Friday, Three New Hospitalizations

Posted By on Mon, Jul 26, 2021 at 4:30 PM

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

Humboldt County Public Health reported today that it has confirmed 74 new COVID-19 cases and three new hospitalizations since Friday.

Today's cases — which follow 169 confirmed last week and 84 confirmed the week before — come after laboratories processed 764 samples with a test-positivity rate of 9.7 percent.

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

In a press release today, public health reported that of the 193 county residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 since July 19, 24 were children under the age of 10 and over the nine hospitalizations over the past week, one was in their 30s, one in their 40s, three in their 50s, and four over the age of 60.

The county confirmed last week that two of the county's then 222 hospitalizations and none of its 53 COVID-related deaths recorded to date were so-called "breakthrough cases" confirmed in fully vaccinated individuals.

In a press release Friday, the county reminded that the data is incredibly clear that the vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness and death.

"Out of more than 20 million vaccinated Californians, fewer than 1 percent contracted the virus and only 0.003 percent required hospitalization, according to the California Department of Public Health," the press release states.

“The data is clear,” Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Department of Health & Human Services Agency, said in a statement earlier this month. “Nearly all new COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are preventable.”

In recent weeks, 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 nearly 85 percent of new infections nationally. The Delta variant is believed to be more contagious than other COVID-19 varieties and to result in more severe illness. In today's press release, public health reported that it was found in 25 percent of samples that underwent genomic sequencing last month.

On the vaccination front, the county reports that roughly 50 percent of the local population is now fully vaccinated and 55 percent of residents have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the county's dashboard. Of the eligible population, 56.4 percent are now fully vaccinated, Public Health reported today.

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:

Arcata – Thursday, July 22, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Arcata Transit Center (925 E St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Redway – Friday, July 23, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dean Creek RV Park (4112 Redwood Drive) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Fortuna – Saturday, July 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Redwood AutoXpo (Veterans Memorial Building, 1426 Main St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Arcata – Saturday, July 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Arcata Farmers’ Market (Arcata Plaza, 808 G St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Arcata – Sunday, July 25, from noon to 4 p.m. Adopt-a-Park Community Event (Mad River Pkwy. E) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Trinidad – Thursday, July 29, from noon to 3 p.m.Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity 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

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 4,971 cases, with 228 hospitalizations and 53 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 4,659 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 resident susceptible to infection.

Nationwide, more than 34.3 million cases have been confirmed with 608,113 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 3.7 million cases and 63,741related 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 26, 2021 - 74 New Cases Reported Since Friday
Seventy-four new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Humboldt County since Friday. The total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus now stands at 4,971.

Three new hospitalizations also were reported since Friday, including one person in their 30s, one in their 50s and one in their 70s.

Since the last weekly update on July 19, 193 county residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including 24 children under age 10. Nine county residents have been hospitalized over the last week. Their age ranges are as follows:

1 person in their 30s
1 person in their 40s
3 people in their 50s
1 person in their 60s
2 people in their 70s
1 person over the age of 80.
Nearly 6% of the county population remains only partially vaccinated, and public health officials warn that partial vaccination may leave a person vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, especially to variants like Delta. Full vaccination is the most effective way to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19 and to protect children and other members of the community who cannot get vaccinated. Full vaccination is achieved two weeks after one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the second dose in a two-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

This week, Public Health vaccination clinics are scheduled at sites around the county, including Willow Creek. COVID-19 vaccines are also available through health care providers in Eastern Humboldt. 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.

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

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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Thadeus Greenson

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

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