Thursday, November 4, 2021

Public Health Confirms 13 New COVID-19 Cases, Two Hospitalizations

Posted By on Thu, Nov 4, 2021 at 4:11 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 confirmed 13 new cases of COVID-19 today and reported two new hospitalizations.

The county also announced that a new masking order — which lifts the mask mandate outdoors as of Nov. 8, but "strongly recommends" the practice in crowded areas — will take effect Monday. The order also outlines benchmarks the county must meet to see the indoor masking order lifted, as well. Read more here.

The county reported yesterday that an advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously to recommend a pediatric dose of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old under the emergency use authorization issued by the Food and Drug Administration last week.

Public Health reported yesterday that the new authorization makes nearly 10,000 Humboldt County children eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, with some initial shipments of the pediatric dose of the vaccine having already been delivered locally.

The Journal has also learned that some local care providers are already making vaccination appointments for children in this age group. Public Health advises parents or guardians seeking to vaccinate their children t contact their pediatrician or local pharmacy.

More than 7 percent of the county's cases to date — or 685 of them — have been confirmed in children ages 5 to 11.

"We'v seen cases in this age group increase over the last few months with the rise of the Delta variant, and we want to do everything we can to keep kids in school and keep them and their families healthy," Health Officer Ian Hoffman said in a press release. "Data from the clinical trials and other recent studies have shown that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for kids, and that it reduces hospitalizations in all age groups, including kids."

Today's new cases were reported after laboratories processed 116 samples with a test-positivity rate of 11.2 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).

Monday, 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 12 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, with four under intensive care. 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.

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 — Sunday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Eureka High School (1915 J St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

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

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Nov. 9, 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. 10, 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

Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 9,427 with 433 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 46.1 million cases have been confirmed with 747,970 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.6 million cases and 71,759 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. 4, 2021 - 2 Hospitalizations, 13 New Cases Reported Today
Humboldt County Public Health reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing to 9,427 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. Two hospitalizations were also reported, included a person in their 40s and one aged 80 or older.

County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hoffman issued a new face covering order yesterday set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Nov. 8. Under the new Order:

Humboldt County residents and visitors — regardless of vaccination status — must wear a face covering or mask in all indoor public settings and workplaces.
Outdoor masking will no longer be required as of Nov. 8, including for children age 2 and older in school and daycare. Masking will continue to be strongly recommended in crowded outdoor spaces.
Specific benchmarks are outlined that must be met to:
Trigger an exception for unmasked gatherings of 100 people or fewer
Rescind the order in full.
Nearly 59% of the county’s total population is fully vaccinated. Once the county reaches 70% fully vaccinated, certain indoor settings with stable cohorts of 100 or fewer fully vaccinated individuals may gather without masks if that setting is not covered by more restrictive state or federal guidance. Examples include gyms, fitness centers, religious gatherings and college classes. To gather unmasked, hosts, employers or organizers have to verify that all individuals are fully vaccinated, maintain a list of all attendees and control public entry.

Criteria for rescinding the mask order entirely include the following:

Humboldt County must meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data tracker “moderate” transmission level for 21 consecutive days.
Public Health officials determine hospital impacts from COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses remain low.
The county reaches 80% vaccination rate of the total population or Public Health officials determine there is sufficient community protection based on vaccination rates.
Read the Order of the Humboldt County Health Officer for the Wearing of Face Coverings in Workplaces and Indoor Public Settings.

Public Health officials continue to stress that vaccination is one of the best tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic. All eligible residents who are unvaccinated are urged to get one of the three authorized vaccines, which offer the highest protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death, according to the CDC. People who remain partially vaccinated are advised to complete the vaccination series to achieve full protection.

The Pfizer vaccine is now authorized for ages 5 to 11 and is recommended for children in this age group. For more information or to schedule an appointment, parents should contact their child’s health care provider or local pharmacy.

Humboldt County’s vaccination and testing services are available free of charge. Appointments are recommended for most vaccination clinics and required at Public Health Main in Eureka. Sign up in advance at MyTurn.ca.gov.

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

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
PCR and rapid testing available

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

Eureka — Sunday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Eureka High School (1915 J 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
Appointments required
$25 gift card for those receiving a first or second dose\

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Nov. 9, 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. 10, 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

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

The Nov. 3 COVID Update news release incorrectly stated that 6% of the county’s population age 12 and older has received at least one dose. It should have stated that 6% of the population 12 and older is partially vaccinated. The Joint Information Center regrets the error.

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 1-707-441-5000.

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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