Thursday, October 21, 2021

Public Health Reports 10 New COVID-19 Cases, Two New Hospitalizations

Posted By on Thu, Oct 21, 2021 at 4:17 PM

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

Humboldt County Public Health reported 10 new COVID-19 cases and two new hospitalizations today.

But the low case tally — which brings the count's total for the week to 131 — comes after laboratories processed just 19 samples with a test-positivity rate of 52.6 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. Through the first 21 days in October, it sits at 12.9 percent, still far outpacing those of the state (2 percent) and nation (5.7 percent).

A state database show 18 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 reported today that 1,057 vaccine doses have been administered over the past week, with 686 people having newly completed their vaccine series to become fully vaccinated. Roughly two-thirds of the county's vaccine-eligible population is now fully vaccinated.

Public Health reported Friday that Humboldt's seven-day average case rate is currently at 19.9, meaning that for every 100,000 residents, just under 20 residents tested positive for the virus daily over the last seven days, adding that the current seven-day average case rate for vaccinated individuals is 8 per 100,000 residents, while the case rate for unvaccinated residents is more than four times higher at 34 per 100,000.

click to enlarge unvaccinated_v_vaccinated_graph_covid_results.jpg

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.

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.

Trinidad — Thursday, Oct. 21, 4 to 7 p.m.
Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Friday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m. to 4 pm.
Veterans Hall (1018 H St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

McKinleyville — Saturday, Oct. 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
McKinleyville High School (1300 Murray Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Rio Dell — Sunday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dollar General (44 W. Davis St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Fortuna — Sunday, Oct. 24, 3 to 5 p.m.
Veterans Hall (1426 Main St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Monday, Oct. 25, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Main (529 I St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
No testing available
$25 gift card for those receiving a first or second dose

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Oct. 26, 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
$25 gift card for those receiving a first or second dose

Garberville — Wednesday, Oct. 27, 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



Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 9,146 with 418 hospitalizations and 108 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 45.1 million cases have been confirmed with 730,368 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.6 million cases and 70,741 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. 21, 2021 - 2 Hospitalizations, 10 New Cases Reported Today
Humboldt County Public Health reported today the hospitalization of two residents for COVID-19, including a person in their 40s and one in their 60s. Due to a delay in the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE) system, there were 10 new antigen and no new PCR cases to report, bringing to 9,146 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus in the county.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to expand COVID-19 vaccine booster dose options for millions of Americans who received a vaccine other than Pfizer.

The FDA authorized a Moderna booster for seniors age 65 and older, and those age 18 and older who are at high risk for serious COVID-19 illness. The Moderna vaccine booster will be half the dose of the first two and can be administered at least six months after completing the two-dose series.

The FDA also authorized a second Johnson & Johnson dose for anyone eligible, regardless of age, at least two months after the first shot. In addition, the FDA approved a “mixing and matching” of vaccine types, allowing anyone eligible for a booster dose to receive a brand different from the one they received initially.

The advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) met today to discuss the newly authorized COVID-19 vaccine boosters and to make recommendations for who should get them.

As of Tuesday, Humboldt County Public Health and other local vaccinators have administered a total of 157,416 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Local vaccination data has been updated on the Humboldt County Data Dashboard (humboldtgov.org/dashboard). Highlights include:

Since the last weekly report on Oct. 13, 1,057 vaccine doses have been administered, and 686 additional residents have completed their vaccine series.
A total of 78,922 residents, or just over 66% of the vaccine-eligible population age 12 and older, are fully vaccinated.
Nearly 73% of the vaccine-eligible population has received at least one dose.
Residents, particularly those who are unvaccinated, are advised to get tested if they are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. Testing is available through OptumServe seven days a week at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka and at mobile sites throughout the county most weekdays. For more information about testing, go to humboldtgov.org/covidtestregistration.

Due to the increasing use of at-home tests for COVID-19, Public Health recommends residents report positive test results so transmission of the virus in the community can be better identified and people can be connected with needed resources.

Those with a positive at-home test for COVID-19 should isolate and notify their close contacts to limit the spread of disease. False positive test results are unlikely when an antigen test is used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, according to the CDC’s antigen testing guidance page. Public Health officials stress that positive at-home test results should be reported to a health care provider or to Public Health if there is no provider.

Individuals who require documentation of test results for employment or travel may get PCR testing through Public Health or their health care providers. PCR follow-up testing for an at-home rapid test is most accurate 24 to 48 hours after an initial at-home positive test. For more information, visit the Humboldt County Home-Testing FAQ, or call the Joint Information Center at 707-441-5000.

Public Health will offer PCR testing at the Fortuna River Lodge site on Friday, Oct. 22, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. Pre-registration is required. To sign up, visit the Color test registration page.

In a White House press briefing yesterday, officials discussed a plan to ensure that vaccines for children ages 5 through 11 are available, easy and convenient. The proposed plan includes administering vaccines through trusted providers such as pediatricians, family doctors, primary care providers and rural health centers.

Pediatric doses of the vaccine are expected to be 10 micrograms, a third of the size of the dose authorized for those ages 12 and older, and administered using smaller needles, according to Pfizer’s recent application to the FDA for emergency use authorization. The FDA’s advisory committee will meet Tuesday, Oct. 26, to discuss.

The county’s vaccination and testing services are available free of charge. Residents who receive their first or second dose of vaccine at a Public Health office in Eureka, Willow Creek or Garberville can choose a $25 Renner Petroleum or Coming Attractions Theatres gift card. Incentives are offered on a first-come, first-served basis at those locations only.

Appointments for Public Health vaccination clinics are not required but are recommended due to an increase in demand for additional doses and boosters. 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:

Trinidad — Thursday, Oct. 21, 4 to 7 p.m.
Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Friday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Veterans Hall (1018 H St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

McKinleyville — Saturday, Oct. 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
McKinleyville High School (1300 Murray Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Rio Dell — Sunday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dollar General (44 W. Davis St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Fortuna — Sunday, Oct. 24, 3 to 5 p.m.
Veterans Hall (1426 Main St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Monday, Oct. 25, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Main (529 I St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
No testing available
$25 gift card for those receiving a first or second dose

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Oct. 26, 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
$25 gift card for those receiving a first or second dose

Garberville — Wednesday, Oct. 27, 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

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 a Public Health clinic 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.

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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