Friday, November 5, 2021

Public Health Announces 25 New COVID-19 Cases, New Quarantine Order

Posted By on Fri, Nov 5, 2021 at 4:01 PM


click to enlarge PUBLIC HEALTH
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Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 25 new COVID-19 cases today but reported no new hospitalizations.

Today's cases make 118 recorded over the past week, with four deaths and 10 hospitalizations.

Public Health also announced that Health Officer Ian Hoffman has issued a new quarantine order that will go into effect Monday. The new order requires unvaccinated people who have been a close contact of a known positive case — meaning they were within 6 feet of them for a combined 15 minutes or longer over a 24-hour period — must immediately quarantine in their home for 14 days, while fully vaccinated people do not have to quarantine but should monitor for symptoms and get tested five to seven days after their exposure. (Read more about the new order in the press release below.)

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 also 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 142 samples with a test-positivity rate of 17.6 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. 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 13 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, with three 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 13, meaning that for every 100,000 residents,13 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 five per 100,000 residents, while the case rate for unvaccinated residents is 16 per 100,000.

click to enlarge document.jpeg

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.


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

Eureka — Friday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
No testing available at this clinic. PCR testing offered through OptumServe on lower floor of Wharfinger Building.

Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 9,452 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 46.2 million cases have been confirmed with 749,876 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.6 million cases and 71,852 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. 5, 2021 - Quarantine Duration Reduced in Certain Situations; 25 New Cases Reported Today
Humboldt County residents will have new COVID-19 quarantine guidance going forward in a new Mass Quarantine Order issued today by County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hoffman. The new order is set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Nov. 8.

Under the new Quarantine Order:

Unvaccinated individuals who have been a close contact — within 6 feet for 15 minutes total over a 24-hour period — with someone who has COVID-19 must immediately quarantine in their home for 14 days.
Fully vaccinated individuals who have been a close contact do not have to quarantine but are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor for symptoms, get tested 5-7 days after the exposure and wear a mask in public for 14 days, while also following applicable local and state masking orders.
Specific measures are outlined to shorten the 14-day quarantine period for unvaccinated individuals who are close contacts based on the CDC guidance:
Unvaccinated individuals who are a close contact and don’t develop symptoms may end quarantine after day 10 without testing.
Unvaccinated individuals who are a close contact may end quarantine after day seven if they don’t develop symptoms and receive a negative test result from a test taken on day five or later from the date of the last exposure.
Read the Humboldt County Health Officer Mass Quarantine Order.

The new masking order also takes effect on Monday, which removes the outdoor mask requirement and establishes metrics for the removal of certain other indoor mask requirements. Read the Order of the Humboldt County Health Officer for the Wearing of Face Coverings in Workplaces and Indoor Public Settings.

Humboldt County Public Health reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing to 9,452 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. No new deaths or hospitalizations were reported for the second time this week.

Since the last weekly data update on Oct. 29, the county has recorded 118 new cases of COVID-19. Four deaths were also reported during that period, including two fully vaccinated people. The average age of the deaths due to COVID-19 is 79 among the fully vaccinated residents and 65 in the unvaccinated. Of the 10 hospitalizations reported over the last week, two people were fully vaccinated and eight were unvaccinated. Age ranges of reported hospitalizations are as follows:

1 person in their 30s
3 people in their 40s
1 person in their 50s
2 people in their 60s
1 person in their 70s
2 people aged 80 or older
The seven-day average case rate in Humboldt County is currently 13, meaning for every 100,000 residents, about 13 residents tested positive daily over the last seven days. Case rates vary considerably by vaccination status, as illustrated by the graph below, which depicts average weekly case rates since Dec. 2020 in unvaccinated and fully vaccinated residents.

click to enlarge document.jpeg

The current seven-day average case rate for fully vaccinated individuals is five per 100,000 residents while the case rate for unvaccinated individuals is more than three times higher at 16 per 100,000 residents. View a more detailed depiction of the case rate graph.

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. 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 Public Health will hold three vaccination clinics in Eureka this weekend, and all services are offered free of charge. Residents who receive a vaccine at the Arts Alive! clinic in Eureka Saturday may enter to win a gift basket donated by local businesses. Those who receive their first or second dose at a Public Health office in Eureka, Willow Creek or Garberville can choose a $25 Renner Petroleum or Coming Attractions Theatres gift card on a first-come, first-served basis.

Appointments are recommended for most vaccination clinics and required at Public Health Main in Eureka due to an increase in demand for additional doses and boosters. Sign up in advance at MyTurn.ca.gov.

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

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
*Those who get vaccinated at this clinic may enter to win a gift basket donated by local businesses.

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

Eureka — Friday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
No testing available at this clinic. PCR testing offered through OptumServe on lower floor of Wharfinger Building.

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.

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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