Monday, November 1, 2021

Public Health: Four More COVID-19 Deaths, 61 New Cases

Posted By on Mon, Nov 1, 2021 at 4:27 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.

Four more Humboldt County residents have died of COVID-19, Public Health reported today, while announcing it had confirmed 61 new cases of the virus and three new hospitalizations since Friday's report.

The new cases were reported after laboratories processed 403 samples with a test-positivity rate of 15.1 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. In October, it dipped to 12.1 percent, but still far outpaced those of the state (2 percent) and nation (5.7 percent).

Earlier today, the county issued a provider alert warning that the greater Fortuna area is seeing case rates higher than those of the rest of the county, while its vaccination rates continue to trail those of other parts of the county, as well.

A state database show eight people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, with one under intensive care — the lowest tallies in months. The local hospital census peaked Sept. 3 with 42 COVID-19 patients.

As of last week, Public Health reports that 67 percent of the eligible population is now fully vaccinated with about 73 percent having received at least one dose.

Friday, that the Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use for children 5 to 11 years old. A CDC advisory panel is scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss that authorization but the California Department of Public Health anticipates rolling out vaccine to this age group as early as this week.

Public Health also reported last week 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. For more information on who is booster eligible, click here.)

"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 Friday today that Humboldt's seven-day average case rate is currently at 11, 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 nine per 100,000 residents, while the case rate for unvaccinated residents is 13 per 100,000.

click to enlarge document.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.


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

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

Eureka — Thursday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Blue Lake — Friday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Blue Lake Resource Center (111 Greenwood Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Saturday, Nov. 6, noon to 4 p.m.
Eureka Migrations Street Festival (At the corner of 2nd and E streets)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna

Eureka — Saturday, Nov. 6, 5 to 8 p.m.
Arts Alive (231 Second St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Monday, Nov. 8, 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

Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 9,395 with 426 hospitalizations and 116 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 before dipping to 12.3 percent last month.

Nationwide, more than 45.8 million cases have been confirmed with 743,926 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.6 million cases and 71,532 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.

Nov. 1, 2021 - 4 Deaths, 3 Hospitalizations, 61 New Cases Reported Since Friday
Humboldt County Public Health has reported four deaths from COVID-19, one person in their 70s and three people aged 80 or older. Staff in the Department Operations Center extend their condolences to the families, friends and caregivers of those who died and all who have lost a loved one to the virus.

Humboldt County Public Health has reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, bringing to 9,395 the total number of residents who have tested positive. Three hospitalizations have also been reported in that time, one person in their 40s, one in their 50s and one in their 70s.

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the FDA’s emergency use authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old. Officials with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have said the state expects to roll out vaccines to this age group later this week after the review process is complete.

CDPH has recommended that all eligible residents be vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who are at increased risk for hospitalization and severe COVID-19 disease should get a Pfizer or Moderna booster at least six months after their second dose. CDPH also recommended that adults who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine get a booster if it has been two months since their first dose.

Boosters are being offered at all Public Health vaccination clinics and eligible people may receive a single dose of any of the available COVID-19 vaccines as a “mix-and-match” booster following the completion of a different primary vaccine series. For more information about the state’s booster recommendations and guidance, read the COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Questions & Answers page.

Residents who need their first or second dose are also encouraged to schedule an appointment or to walk in. 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, including boosters, 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, 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.

Public Health officials stress that residents should report positive at-home test results to a health care provider or to Public Health if there is no provider so transmission of the virus in the community can be better identified.

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.

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 within 24 to 48 hours of an initial at-home positive test. For more information, visit the Humboldt County Home-Testing FAQ.

On Tuesdays, OptumServe offers mobile testing in Garberville or Trinidad on a rotating basis. On Nov. 2, testing will be available in Garberville outside of Jerold Phelps Hospital at 733 Cedar St. On Tuesday, Nov. 11, OptumServe’s mobile testing site will be held at Trinidad City Hall located at 409 Trinity St. Testing is offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both sites will be closed from 11 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3 p.m.

The county’s vaccination and testing services are available free of charge. Those 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:

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

Garberville — Wednesday, Nov. 3, 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

Eureka — Thursday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Blue Lake — Friday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Blue Lake Resource Center (111 Greenwood Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Saturday, Nov. 6, noon to 4 p.m.
Eureka Migrations Street Festival (At the corner of 2nd and E streets)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna

Eureka — Saturday, Nov. 6, 5 to 8 p.m.
Arts Alive (231 Second St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Monday, Nov. 8, 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

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.

Phones in the COVID-19 Call Center (707-441-5000) are down due to a technical issue. There is currently no set timeline for restoral. Anyone with questions related to COVID-19 can email covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us.

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov.

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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