Thursday, November 18, 2021

Public Health Reports 28 New COVID-19 Cases, Changes in Youth Sports Mask Guidelines

Posted By on Thu, Nov 18, 2021 at 4:21 PM

click to enlarge A Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory employee processes a COVID-19 test. - PUBLIC HEALTH
  • Public health
  • A Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory employee processes a COVID-19 test.
Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 28 new COVID-19 cases today — making 144 so far this week.

In a short video released earlier today discussing changes to masking guidelines for youth sports, Public Health Director Sofia Pereira mentioned that Health Officer Ian Hoffman is currently out on "family leave" but offered no additional details. The Journal has inquired for additional information but has not yet received a response.

(Update: Moments after this article posted, county spokesperson Christine Messinger responded to the Journal’s inquiry to say Kate Estlin, a local family physician with a practice in Fortuna who also works as a hospitalist at Redwood Memorial and St. Joseph hospitals, has stepped in to serve as health officer in Hoffman’s absence. Estlin, Messinger added, has been aiding the local pandemic response by “supporting COVID investigations for outbreaks in schools and congregate settings as extra help.” Messinger did not answer Journal questions regarding exactly when Hoffman’s leave began or how long its expected to last, or provide a copy of any letter or email he sent to the county notifying it of the leave, as the Journal requested. She said she would check with county Employee Services tomorrow to see what further information could be released.)

Today's cases — which come on the heels of 204 confirmed last week — come after laboratories processed 121 samples with a test-positivity rate of 23.1 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 and, through the first 18 days of the month, it sits at 14.7 percent in November, still far outpacing those of the state (2 percent) and nation (5.4 percent).

Public Health also reported today that the state has now simplified its booster guidance, and is now recommending that all fully vaccinated residents receive a booster as soon as they're eligible to do so.

Local guidance regarding masking and youth sports was also updated today following weeks of meetings between Public Health staff and representatives from schools, districts and youth sports leagues. The new guidance permits participants in high-intensity indoor youth sports to remove masks during gameplay "if a mask poses a health and safety risk to the individual" but requires they be worn when not in active gameplay. Twice weekly testing of all players, staff and coaches who remove masks during play is required, regardless of vaccination status, according to public Health.

Pereira's short video discussing the change in guidelines can be seen below.


Public Health reported yesterday that local vaccinators have administered 1,203 doses of vaccine over the past week, with 520 residents having newly become fully vaccinated.

New countywide masking and quarantine orders, meanwhile, went into effect Nov. 8.

Earlier this month, 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 11 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, with three under intensive care. The local hospital census peaked Sept. 3 with 42 COVID-19 patients.

The Food and Drug Administration recently authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use for children 5 to 11 years old and local pharmacies and pediatricians have begun making appointments, while Public Health announced it will hold several pediatric and family vaccination clinics — with the first pediatric clinic scheduled tomorrow in Eureka — for children ages 5 to 11. Appointments will be required and can be made on the state’s www.MyTurn.ca.gov vaccination portal. Boosters will not be available at these clinics.

"Pediatric clinics will offer vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 only. Family clinics give priority to children ages 5 to 11, but parents and guardians of children who are getting vaccinated can receive any dose of the COVID-19 vaccine," a news release states. "Due to a sharp increase in demand, walk-ins are not allowed at family and pediatric clinics for children ages 5 to 11 at this time."

Public Health also reported recently that health officials are urging all eligible residents to get COVID-19 booster shots after federal regulators accepted recommendations recently to expand booster options to Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. (For more information on who is booster eligible, click here.)

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 Friday that Humboldt's seven-day average case rate is currently at 14, meaning that for every 100,000 residents, 14 residents tested positive for the virus daily over the last seven days but varies by vaccination status.

click to enlarge case_rate_graf.jpg

The current seven-day average case rate for fully vaccinated individuals is 13 per 100,000 residents per day, while the average daily case rate for unvaccinated individuals is 16 per 100,000 residents. View a more detailed depiction of the case rate graph here.

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, Nov. 18, 4 to 7 p.m.
Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna PCR and rapid testing available

Petrolia — Friday, Nov. 19, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Mattole Resource Center (167 Sherman St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna PCR and rapid testing available
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Honeydew Family Clinic — Friday, Nov. 19, 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.
Honeydew Elementary School (1 Wilder Ridge Road)
Ages 5-18 and family members.
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna PCR and rapid testing available
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Arcata Family Clinic – Saturday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Arcata High School (1720 M St.)
Ages 5-18 and family members.
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna PCR and rapid testing available
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Redway – Sunday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to noon
Redwoods Rural Health Center (101 W Coast Rd.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Miranda Family Clinic – Sunday, Nov. 21, from 2 to 5 p.m.
South Fork High School (6831 Avenue of the Giants)
Ages 5-18 and family members.
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna PCR and rapid testing available
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Eureka — Monday, Nov. 22, 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
Appointment required. No testing available
$25 gift card for adults receiving a first or second dose
Appointments required

Eureka Pediatric Clinic — Tuesday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 5 to 11. Pfizer only.
Appointment required. No testing available.

Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 9,797 with 441 hospitalizations and 117 COVID-19 related deaths.

Nationwide, more than 47.2 million cases have been confirmed with 762,994 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.7 million cases and 72,847 related deaths have been confirmed in California, according to the Department of Public Health.

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.

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. 18, 2021 - More People Eligible for Boosters; Updated Youth Sports Requirements Finalized
Humboldt County Public Health reported today 28 new cases of COVID-19, bringing to 9,797 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. No deaths or hospitalizations were reported.

To maintain strong immunity against COVID-19 with winter approaching, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) simplified its booster guidance and is encouraging all vaccinated residents to receive a booster as soon as they're eligible.

The state’s updated My Turn vaccination portal now allows all adults aged 18 and older to make appointments to receive a booster dose of their choice — as long as it’s been at least six months since their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months since their Johnson & Johnson shot.

Updated guidance regarding masking and youth sports was finalized today following weeks of meetings between Public Health staff and representatives from schools, districts and local sports leagues. The new guidance will permit individuals in high-intensity indoor youth sports programs to remove masks during active gameplay if a mask poses a health and safety risk to the individual. Individuals must wear masks when not in active gameplay.

To mitigate the risk associated with unmasked indoor activity and to identify COVID-19 cases quickly, twice weekly testing of all players, staff and coaches who remove masks during play or competition is required, regardless of vaccination status. Public Health also recommends that officials test if they are removing their masks during game play for health or safety reasons, and that schools provide access to testing for them as well. The entire guidance document can be viewed here Humboldt County Youth Sports Masking Requirements.

Public Health officials are continuing to urge all eligible Californians aged 5 and older to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and for partially vaccinated individuals to complete their vaccination series. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an unvaccinated person is 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than a vaccinated person.

Humboldt County’s vaccination and testing services are available free of charge. Although walk-ins are allowed at most regular Public Health clinics and many pharmacy vaccination sites, a sharp increase in demand for boosters has caused delays at some locations. As a result, appointments are required for pediatric clinics and for clinics at Public Health’s main office. Appointments are strongly recommended for all other clinics and are the best way to ensure a shot is available during your visit. Appointments can be made at MyTurn.ca.gov.

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.

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

Trinidad — Thursday, Nov. 18, 4 to 7 p.m.
Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Petrolia — Friday, Nov. 19, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Mattole Resource Center (167 Sherman St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Honeydew Family Clinic — Friday, Nov. 19, 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.
Honeydew Elementary School (1 Wilder Ridge Road)
Ages 5-18 and family members
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Arcata Family Clinic – Saturday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Arcata High School (1720 M St.)
Ages 5-18 and family members
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Redway – Sunday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to noon
Redwoods Rural Health Center (101 W Coast Rd.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Miranda Family Clinic – Sunday, Nov. 21, from 2 to 5 p.m.
South Fork High School (6831 Avenue of the Giants)
Ages 5-18 and family members
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Eureka — Monday, Nov. 22, 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
Appointment required. No testing available.
$25 gift card for adults receiving a first or second dose
Appointments required

Eureka Pediatric Clinic — Tuesday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 5 to 11. Pfizer only.
Appointment required. No testing available.

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
###

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

About The Author

Thadeus Greenson

Bio:
Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

Latest in News Blog

Care2 Take Action?

socialize

Facebook | Twitter

© 2021 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation