Thursday, July 29, 2021

Humboldt Mandates Masking in County Facilities

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 2:20 PM

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The Humboldt County Administrative Office announced today that facial coverings will be required in all county facilities as of tomorrow.

The county notes that the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant — which now accounts for more than 80 percent of cases in California — disease spread and associated hospitalizations have been on the rise, while a significant portion of Humboldt County residents remain unvaccinated.

"Universal masking in public adds an extra precautionary measure for all to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, especially in communities currently seeing the highest transmission rates, such as ours," the county said in a press release.
"Changes in recommendations like these are not taken lightly but are necessary to protect the public, stop spread of the disease among the unvaccinated and keep our institutions fully functioning."


Over the past week, Humboldt County has seen case and test-positivity rates far beyond the state and national averages. Over a seven-day period ending July 27, Humboldt County recorded 142 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, compared to 120 nationwide and 83 in California. Over the same period, 12.7 percent of testing samples in Humboldt County returned positive for the virus compared to 7.6 percent nationally and 5.4 in California.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the state of California and Humboldt County Public Health have all recommended masking regardless of vaccination status when in public, indoor spaces.

The county's press release today went on to state that the surge in local cases poses a "real threat" not only to the community but also to the county's ability to provide vital services.

"As such, beginning tomorrow, Friday, July 30 the county will be requiring all employees and members of the public to wear a mask while inside county facilities, even those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19," the release states. "This is a mandatory requirement, not a recommendation. ... While masks can be a big help immediately, getting vaccinated is the real key to getting our community fully reopened safely and back to enjoying all the things we love to do in Humboldt County. We are now in the midst of a pandemic of the unvaccinated."

Read the county's full release copied below:

Facial Coverings To Be Required In All County Facilities
Masks are Required in County Facilities
With the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant in California, which rapidly increased to over 80% of cases in California in the past weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising again throughout the state. This is especially true amongst those that remain unvaccinated. Despite ongoing outreach and improving COVID-19 vaccine access, as of late July, a significant proportion of Humboldt County residents are not yet fully vaccinated.

It is with all this in mind that universal masking in indoor public settings is now recommended again by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Humboldt County Public Health. Universal masking in public adds an extra precautionary measure for all to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, especially in communities currently seeing the highest transmission rates, such as ours. Changes in recommendations like these are not taken lightly but are necessary to protect the public, stop spread of the disease among the unvaccinated, and keep our institutions fully functioning.

The recent surge in cases in Humboldt County poses a real threat not only to our community, but also to the county’s own ability to provide vital services.

As such, beginning tomorrow, Friday, July 30 the county will be requiring all employees and members of the public to wear a mask while inside county facilities, even those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This is a mandatory requirement, not a recommendation.

While masks can be a big help immediately, getting vaccinated is the real key to getting our community fully reopened safely and back to enjoying all the things we love to do in Humboldt County. We are now in the midst of a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

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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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