Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Public Health Confirms Two Hospitalizations and 10 New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2021 at 3:44 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 10 new COVID-19 cases today, with two hospitalizations reported of a resident in their 50s and another in their 60s.

Earlier today Public Health released a COVID-19 video update featuring Public Health Director Sofia Pereira who talked about the pending milestone of 10,000 local COVID-19 cases confirmed — which she said may have already been met given the increasing availability of at-home COVID tests — and the progress that's been made in the county's pandemic response.

Public Health is reminding residents to practice social distancing, wash hands frequently and plan safer gatherings, especially with the return of colder weather, upcoming holidays and more people traveling and spending time indoors.  

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated Humboldt County as an area of high community transmission and recommends holding gatherings outdoors when possible, limiting the number of participants in indoor gatherings, adjusting the indoor layout to allow for physical distancing and enhancing the ventilation of indoor spaces.

Today's cases come after laboratories processed 178 samples with a test-positivity rate of 13.1 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.

Public Health Officer Ian Hoffman went on family leave on Nov. 15 and is expected to return in a part-time capacity for the next few weeks before returning to his full-time role. In the meantime, 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.

A state database shows eight 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 boosters for all eligible adults who are at least six months past their second shot of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines and two months past their shot of Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

The FDA also 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 last 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.

The county's 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 be closed Friday, Nov. 26.

The COVID-19 Joint Information Center (441-5000) will also be closed Thursday and Friday for the holiday. English and Spanish speaking call takers will resume regular operations on Monday to answer questions related to COVID-19 vaccination, testing and preventive measures. Questions emailed to covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us over the holiday will also be responded to on Monday.

Public Health’s testing and vaccination clinics will be closed for Thanksgiving and through the weekend and will resume on Monday. Here is the county's vaccine clinic schedule for next week:

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.

Eureka Pediatric Clinic — Tuesday, Nov. 30, 1 to 4 p.m.

Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 5 to 11. Pfizer only.
Appointment required. No testing is available.

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Nov. 30, 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 are available
     $25 gift card for those receiving a first or second dose

Garberville — Wednesday, Dec. 1, 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 are available
     $25 gift card for those receiving a first or second dose


Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 9,963 with 443 hospitalizations and 117 COVID-19 related deaths.

Nationwide, more than 47.9 million cases have been confirmed with 773,779 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.7 million cases and 73,365 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.

Watch the county's COVID-19 update and read the JIC's report below.
Nov. 24, 2021 - 2 Hospitalizations, 10 New Cases Reported

Humboldt County Public Health reported today 10 new cases of COVID-19, bringing to 9,963 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. Two hospitalizations were also reported, a resident in their 50s and one in their 60s.

As of Tuesday, Public Health and other local vaccinators have administered a total of 162,012 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Local vaccination data has been updated on the Humboldt County Data Dashboard (humboldtgov.org/dashboard). Highlights include:

  • Since the last weekly report, 903 vaccine doses have been administered, and 462 additional residents have completed their vaccine series.
  • A total of 81,223 residents, or approximately 68% of the county’s population aged 12 and older, are fully vaccinated. About 7,800 residents, or 6% of the population aged 12 and older, are partially vaccinated as of Tuesday.

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.

OptumServe’s 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 be closed Friday, Nov. 26. Public Health’s testing and vaccination clinics will be closed through the weekend and will resume on Monday.

The COVID-19 Joint Information Center (1-707-441-5000) will also be closed Thursday and Friday for the holiday. English and Spanish speaking call takers will resume regular operations on Monday to answer questions related to COVID-19 vaccination, testing and preventive measures. Questions emailed to covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us over the holiday will also be responded to on Monday.

Vaccines, including boosters, are 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.

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.

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

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.

Eureka Pediatric Clinic — Tuesday, Nov. 30, 1:15 to 3:45 p.m.
     Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
     Ages 5 to 11. Pfizer only.
     Appointment required. No testing available.

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Nov. 30, 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, Dec. 1, 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

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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Iridian Casarez

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

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