Monday, November 22, 2021

93 New COVID-19 Cases Reported Since Friday

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2021 at 4:19 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 93 new COVID-19 cases today, with no new hospitalizations or deaths reported.

Today's cases — which come on the heels of 183 confirmed last week — come after laboratories processed 519 samples with a test-positivity rate of 14.56 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 22 days of the month, it sits at 13.4 percent in November, still far outpacing those of the state (2 percent) and nation (5.4 percent).

Public Health also reported that over the weekend 177 individuals were vaccinated at Public Health clinics held in Honeydew, Redway, Miranda and Arcata that included pediatric shots, first and second doses and boosters. About 60 percent of Humboldt County residents are fully vaccinated, according to Public Health's COVID-19 dashboard.

Public Health Director Sofia Pereira reported last Thursday that Health Officer Ian Hoffman was away from his position on family leave, and county spokesperson Christine Messinger later told the Journal that Kate Estlin, a local family physician with a practice in Fortuna who also works as a hospitalist at Redwood Memorial and St. Joseph hospitals, had stepped in to serve as health officer in Hoffman’s absence. Messinger clarified Friday that Hoffman's leave officially began Nov. 15 and that he's expected to return part-time this week, and remain in that capacity for "the next few weeks" before returning to his full-time role.

"Dr. Estlin will continue to back him up as needed," Messinger wrote in an email to the Journal.

Public Health reported last Thursday that the state has 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.

A state database shows 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. 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.

Public Health reported on Friday that Humboldt's seven-day average case rate is currently at 15.8, meaning that for every 100,000 residents, 15.8 residents tested positive for the virus daily over the last seven days. But the case rate varies by vaccination status.

The current seven-day average case rate for fully vaccinated individuals is nine 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 COVID-19, and the county has a host of no-cost clinics scheduled over the next week.

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 is available.

Eureka — Monday, Nov. 29, 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 is available.
$25 gift card for adults receiving a first or second dose.
Appointments required.


Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 9,929 with 441 hospitalizations and 117 COVID-19 related deaths.

Nationwide, more than 47.6 million cases have been confirmed with 770,890 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.7 million cases and 73,199 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. 22, 2021 - 93 New Cases Reported Since Friday

Humboldt County Public Health reported today 93 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, bringing to 9,929 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. No deaths or hospitalizations were reported.

Over the weekend, 177 individuals were vaccinated at Public Health clinics held in Honeydew, Redway, Miranda and Arcata that included pediatric, first and second doses, as well as additional doses and boosters.

All adults aged 18 and older can make appointments on MyTurn.ca.gov 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.

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, according to the CDC’s antigen testing guidance page. PCR follow-up testing is most accurate within 24 to 48 hours. For more information, visit the Humboldt County Home-Testing FAQ.

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.

OptumServe’s main testing site at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka and its mobile testing site in Hoopa will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 25 for Thanksgiving. The Wharfinger Building and OptumServe’s mobile testing site in Arcata will also be closed Friday, Nov. 26.

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

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.

Eureka — Monday, Nov. 29, 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.

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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NOV 22 COVID Update (PDF)
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Iridian Casarez

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Iridian Casarez is a staff writer at the North Coast Journal.

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