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.


To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 5,010 cases, with 229 hospitalizations and 53 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 4,692 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 34.6 million cases have been confirmed with 609,441 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 3.8 million cases and 63,849 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 28, 2021 - County Tops 5,000 Cases of COVID-19; Public Urged to Help Contain Spread of Virus

Twenty-one additional cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Humboldt County today, bringing the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus to 5,010.

Public Health officials call on the community to help limit the spread of the virus by wearing masks indoors in public, participating in contact tracing efforts and getting vaccinated.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today issued a statewide recommendation for all residents of California to wear masks in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status. This recommendation is an update to the existing CDPH order requiring unvaccinated residents to wear masks in indoor public settings, and all residents to wear masks in certain public settings such as health care settings, youth settings, public transportation, long-term care and senior care facilities and shelters. Read the updated guidance at cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx.

CDPH’s decision follows similar recommendations from Humboldt County Public Health officials last week and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday for regions with high levels of virus transmission. According to the CDC, more than 90% of California residents are in areas of high or substantial transmission, including Humboldt County.

The recent surge in local cases has required Public Health to prioritize contact investigations based on risk. 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. Contact investigators will continue to follow up directly with the contacts of those who live or work in high-risk or congregate settings, such as health care facilities, youth settings and long-term care facilities.

The CDC notes that fully vaccinated people are not likely to become severely ill if infected with the Delta variant, but preliminary evidence suggests they can spread the virus to others. Nearly half, or 49.9%, of Humboldt County residents are fully vaccinated and another 5.8% are partially vaccinated. Partially vaccinated residents are urged to get their second dose within the recommended time frame. Full protection is achieved two weeks after completing the vaccination series, which means both doses in a two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Contact the Joint Information Center at 441-5000 for more information about the vaccine or its availability.

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.

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

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.


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Iridian Casarez

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Iridian Casarez is a staff writer at the North Coast Journal.

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