Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Public Health Confirms One New COVID-19 Hospitalization, Four New Cases

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2021 at 3:38 PM


click to enlarge PUBLIC HEALTH
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Humboldt County Public Health reported one new COVID-19 hospitalization and four new cases today, while also reporting that nine cases have been removed from the county's cumulative case tally because they were found tube from another jurisdiction, previously reported or not a confirmed case.

The total number of Humboldt County residents who have tested positive for the virus now stands at 9,225.

Public Health also reported that the Food and Drug Administration voted today to recommend emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory panel slated to consider the recommendation next week.

A state database show 14 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, with four under intensive care. The local hospital census peaked Sept. 3 with 42 COVID-19 patients.

Public Health also reported yesterday that it is urging all eligible residents to get COVID-19 booster shots after federal regulators accepted recommendations last week to expand booster options to Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

"Vaccines are how we end this pandemic," said California Public Health Officer Tomás Aragón, adding that "boosters will play a critical role moving forward."

Boosters, which are now being offered at all local clinics.

Moderna boosters can be administered to those 65 years and older, those residing in long-term care facilities, people 50 and older with underlying medical conditions putting at them of increased risk and those at increased risk of exposure and transmission due to high-risk work setting, who received their initial vaccination six months or more ago. All residents age 18 and older who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine can receive a booster dose if at has been at least two months since their initial dose.

Public Health reported last week that 1,057 vaccine doses had been administered over the prior seven days, 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 15, meaning that for every 100,000 residents,15 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 eight per 100,000 residents, while the case rate for unvaccinated residents is more than two-and-a-half times higher at 21 per 100,000.

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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.

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.

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

Arcata — Thursday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Arcata Veterans Building (1425 J St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Petrolia — Friday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Mattole Resource Center (167 Sherman St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Honeydew — Friday, Oct. 29, 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.
Honeydew Elementary School (1 Wilder Ridge Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

McKinleyville — Saturday, Oct. 30, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Church of the Joyful Healer (1944 Central Ave.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

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

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Nov. 2, 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

Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 9,225 with 422 hospitalizations and 109 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 45.4 million cases have been confirmed with 736,048 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.6 million cases and 71,182 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. 26, 2021 - 1 Hospitalization, 4 New Cases Reported
Humboldt County Public Health reported today the hospitalization of a resident in their 60s due to COVID-19. Four new cases were also reported, and nine cases were removed from the case count as they were determined to be from another jurisdiction, previously reported or not a COVID-19 case. The total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus in the county is 9,225.

An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted today to recommend emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years old. Next week an advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will meet to review and discuss the recommendations. More details will be released as they become available.

With many annual Halloween festivities scheduled this weekend, the CDC has provided tips for celebrating the holiday safely this year through wearing masks, celebrating outdoors and avoiding crowds.

Trick-or treating in small groups and other outdoor activities like pumpkin patches and hayrides are preferable to indoor activities such as crowded parties or haunted houses.
Masks should be worn when handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Tables can be set up outdoors to hand out individually wrapped candy. Keep interactions brief, and have hand-sanitizer available.
To view holiday and gatherings guidance from the CDC and Humboldt County Public Health, visit the cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/ and Humboldt County guidance for gatherings and events pages.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommended that all eligible residents who are at increased risk for hospitalization and severe COVID-19 disease should get a Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson booster, which are all available. For more information about the state’s booster recommendations and guidance, read the COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Questions & Answers page.

Boosters are being offered at all Public Health vaccination clinics. Appointments 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.

Vaccines are widely available at local pharmacies. To check the availability of a specific vaccine or booster, visit the vaccines.gov page, or text a ZIP code to 438829 to locate a nearby pharmacy offering vaccines.

Public Health officials are recommending residents, particularly those who are unvaccinated, 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.

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.

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

Garberville — Wednesday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Office (727 Cedar St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
$25 gift card for those receiving a first or second dose

Arcata — Thursday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Arcata Veterans Building (1425 J St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Petrolia — Friday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Mattole Resource Center (167 Sherman St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Honeydew — Friday, Oct. 29, 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.
Honeydew Elementary School (1 Wilder Ridge Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

McKinleyville — Saturday, Oct. 30, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Church of the Joyful Healer (1944 Central Ave.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

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

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Nov. 2, 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

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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