Friday, July 30, 2021

Public Health Confirms Record 69 New COVID-19 Cases, Four New Hospitalizations

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2021 at 3:40 PM

click to enlarge PUBLIC HEALTH
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Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 69 new COVID-19 cases today — the county's highest single-day count to date — while also reporting four new hospitalizations amid growing fears of the Delta variant's spread.

Today's cases — making 217 this week, the highest weekly tally since the post-holiday surge in January — were reported after laboratories processed 472 samples with a test-positivity rate of 14.6 percent. For the month of July, the county saw a test-positivity rate of 10.1 percent, the highest for any month since the pandemic began.

According to a state database, nine people remain hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including three under intensive care.

The local case news comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released new data today indicating the Delta variant is highly transmittable, even among fully vaccinated people. While data indicates the vaccines remain highly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death, the CDC warns that it leads to very high viral loads even among vaccinated, mildly symptomatic people, meaning they can still easily transmit the virus to others.

Yesterday, the Humboldt County Administrative Office announced that as of tomorrow facial coverings will be required in all county facilities, warning the current surge in cases poses a "real threat" to the county's ability to provide vital services.

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, including Humboldt.

The recommendation to continue masking comes after the increased spread of the Delta variant, which is more contagious than other COVID-19 varieties and can result 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:

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

Eureka – Thursday, Aug. 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
Pfizer/Moderna

McKinleyville – Friday, Aug. 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Six Rivers Brewery (1300 Central Ave.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

McKinleyville – Friday, Aug. 6, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Dollar General (1180 Murray Road) 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 5,114 cases, with 233 hospitalizations and 53 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 4,755 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 10.1 percent — the highest at any point in the pandemic.

Nationwide, more than 34.8 million cases have been confirmed with 610,264 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 3.8 million cases and 63,935 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 30, 2021 - County Records Highest Single-Day Case Count as Officials Warn of Delta Spread
Sixty-nine new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Humboldt County today, the highest single-day report since the first local case was diagnosed in February 2020. A total of 5,114 county residents have tested positive for the virus.

Four new hospitalizations also were reported, including one resident in their 40s, two in their 70s and one over the age of 80.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to emphasize the severity of the Delta variant, which represents 8 in 10 current cases across the country. CDC released preliminary data that indicates infection with the Delta variant of COVID-19 results in high viral loads in both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, one of the factors that could account for its increased transmissibility.

In response to this new data, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci noted that the country is facing a “different” virus. “This is not the original virus that we were dealing with,” he said. “This has different capabilities, much more efficient in transmitting from person-to-person.”

Local, state and federal health officials continue to urge residents to get fully vaccinated to protect against severe illness and death from COVID-19. Most local pharmacies offer the vaccines. Vaccine is also available by appointment and to walk-ins at Public Health vaccination clinics located throughout the county. Sign up in advance at MyTurn.ca.gov. See the Public Health clinic schedule for the next seven days below.

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

Eureka – Thursday, Aug. 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
Pfizer/Moderna

McKinleyville – Friday, Aug. 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Six Rivers Brewery (1300 Central Ave.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

McKinleyville – Friday, Aug. 6, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Dollar General (1180 Murray Road)
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 Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for those 18 and older. Full protection from the vaccine is achieved two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose series or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.

To check availability of vaccines 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 facial covering recommendations and mandates, go to cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx.

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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