Thursday, October 7, 2021

Public Health Reports Another COVID Death, 33 New Cases

Posted By on Thu, Oct 7, 2021 at 3:20 PM

click to enlarge Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory staff Paula Moon (left) and Alyssa McCloud catalog incoming tests. - PUBLIC HEALTH
  • Public Health
  • Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory staff Paula Moon (left) and Alyssa McCloud catalog incoming tests.

Another Humboldt County resident has died of COVID-19, Public Health reported today, while confirming 33 new cases of the virus and two new hospitalizations.

The death — the fourth reported this week — was of a resident over the age of 80, bringing the county's cumulative pandemic death toll to 102.

The new cases — which come on the heels of 243 confirmed last week and make 203 so far this week — come after laboratories processed 296 samples with a test-positivity rate of 11.1 percent. After recording a test-positivity rate of 10.1 percent in July — the highest for any month since the pandemic began — the rate in Humboldt County jumped to 15.9 percent in August and 15.2 percent in September, far outpacing state (2.5 percent) and national (6.3 percent) rates. Through the first seven days of October, Humboldt's test-positivity rate sits at 14.5 percent.

A state database shows 19 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, with five under intensive care. The local hospital census peaked Sept. 3 with 42 COVID-19 patients.

Public Health offered new data Friday on so-called breakthrough cases of fully vaccinated individuals, noting that one of the five deaths and two of the 14 hospitalizations recorded over the previous week were in fully vaccinated people.

According to the county's dashboard, 56 percent of the local population is now fully vaccinated, including nearly 65 percent of those 12 and older. Nearly 72 percent of the eligible population has now received at least one vaccine dose, according to Public Health.

Public Health reported Friday that the seven-day average of new cases confirmed per 100,000 residents showed that while fully vaccinated residents accounted for about eight new cases daily per 100,000 in population, unvaccinated residents accounted for an average of 34 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently published a study indicating unvaccinated individuals are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 and 10 times more likely to be hospitalized than their fully vaccinated counterparts.

Friday, the CDC recommended Pfizer booster doses for certain at-risk groups, including people 65 and older, others with certain underlying medical conditions and those at "increased risk for COVID-19 exposure" due to their occupational or instructional settings. (Read more about booster doses in the press release below.)

Earlier this month, Humboldt County Health Officer Ian Hoffman announced that due to staffing limitations, Public Health will shift its resources away from communitywide contact tracing to places with the most vulnerable populations and with greater ability to control the spread of the virus through vaccination, masking, distancing and ventilation, including schools, long-term care facilities, shelters and other congregate living settings.

National, state and local health officials advise that vaccination remains incredibly safe and effective protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COIVD-19, and the county has a host of no-cost clinics scheduled over the next week.

Eureka — Friday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Agricultural Building (5630 S. Broadway St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Hoopa — Saturday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hoopa High School (101 Loop Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

McKinleyville — Sunday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
McKinleyville High School (1300 Murray Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Oct. 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Office (77 Walnut Way) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Garberville — Wednesday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health (727 Cedar St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Arcata — Thursday, Oct. 14, 4 to 6 p.m.
Arcata High School (1720 M St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
PCR and rapid testing available

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.

Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 8,798, with 403 hospitalizations and 102 COVID-19 related deaths.

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 rose to 10.1 percent before jumping to 15.9 percent in August and 15.2 percent in September.

Nationwide, more than 43.9 million cases have been confirmed with 707,065 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.5 million cases and 69,351 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's report below.
Oct. 7, 2021 - 1 Death, 2 Hospitalizations, 33 New Cases Reported
The death of a resident over the age of 80 was reported by Humboldt County Public Health today, marking the 102nd local death from COVID-19. The staff of the Department Operations Center offer their sympathies to friends, family and caregivers of those who have died.

Thirty-three new cases have also been reported in the county, bringing to 8,798 the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus. Two hospitalizations of people in their 60s were also reported.

Pfizer formally submitted a request today to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of its COVID-19 vaccine to be used for children ages 5 to 11 years old. The company shared initial data with the FDA late last month. The FDA is scheduled to meet on Oct. 26, to consider the request.

All eligible Humboldt County residents are encouraged to get vaccinated against the virus as the most effective way to prevent hospitalization or death. Vaccination and testing services are available free of charge in the county.

Appointments for Public Health vaccination clinics are not required but are now strongly recommended. Sign up in advance at MyTurn.ca.gov. For instructions in English and Spanish on how to use My Turn, go to humboldtgov.org/VaccineInfo.

See the schedule below for specific clinic dates, times, locations and available services:

Eureka — Friday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Agriculture Building (5630 S. Broadway)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Hoopa — Saturday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hoopa High School (101 Loop Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

McKinleyville — Sunday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
McKinleyville High School (1300 Murray Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Oct. 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Office (77 Walnut Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Garberville — Wednesday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health (727 Cedar St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Arcata — Thursday, Oct. 14, 4 to 6 p.m.
Arcata High School (1720 M St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
PCR and rapid testing available

Check availability of a specific vaccine at local pharmacies at vaccines.gov, or text a ZIP code to 438829 to locate a nearby pharmacy offering vaccines.

Pfizer is authorized for those 12 and older, and Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people age 18 and older. County residents age 16 and 17 can receive a vaccination at Public Health clinics without a parent or guardian physically present as long as they have a signed consent form. Children under 16 still must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.

Residents, particularly unvaccinated individuals, are urged to get tested if they are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. No-cost testing is available through OptumServe seven days a week at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka. Mobile testing sites are scheduled throughout the county most weekdays. View the schedule and learn how to make an appointment at humboldtgov.org/covidtestregistration.

View the Data Dashboard online at humboldtgov.org/dashboard, or go to humboldtgov.org/DashboardArchives to download data from a previous time.

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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