Friday, December 10, 2021

Public Health Confirms 14 New COVID-19 Cases, One New Hospitalization

Posted By on Fri, Dec 10, 2021 at 3:32 PM


click to enlarge PUBLIC HEALTH
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Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 14 new COVID-19 cases today and one new hospitalization.

Today's cases — which make 246 so far this month — come after laboratories processed 219 samples with a test-positivity rate of 6.4 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 rose to 14.2 percent in November and sits at 12.7 percent through the first eight days of December.

The California Department of Public Health  said today that 16 and 17 year olds can now receive a Pfizer booster if it has been six months or more since their last dose.

In a presentation to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, Health Officer Ian Hoffman said no cases of the new Omicron variant have been confirmed locally, though he said he "fully expects" that to change.

"We will continue to monitor and do genomic sequencing and other testing that might be able to detect that variant quickly, and let the public know once we do see any evidence of that in Humboldt County," he said.

Public Health is continuing to ask local doctors to talk to their patients about their travel histories to identify those who may have been exposed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends international travelers get a COVID-19 test three to five days after travel regardless of vaccination status. Residents who test positive for the virus with at-home tests and have traveled internationally in the previous 14 days are asked to call the county's Joint Information Center at 441-5000 to report results to Public Health.

Public Health officials continue to stress that the best way for residents to protect themselves from COVID-19 and variants like Omicron is to get vaccinated, wear masks indoors and in crowded places, get tested immediately regardless of vaccination status if any cold- or flu-like symptoms develop and stay home when sick.

The 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.

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 15 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, with four 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 at www.vaccines.gov. Boosters will not be available at these clinics.

Public Health reported Friday that Humboldt's seven-day average case rate is currently at 15, meaning that for every 100,000 residents, 15 residents tested positive for the virus daily over the last seven days. But the case rate varies by vaccination status.

The seven-day average case rate for fully vaccinated individuals was eight per 100,000 residents per day, while the average daily case rate for unvaccinated individuals is 25 per 100,000 residents. View a more detailed depiction of the case rate graph here.

click to enlarge document.jpg



The CDC 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.

Hoopa Family Clinic — Saturday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hoopa High (101 Loop Road, Hoopa)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
PCR and rapid testing available.

Eureka — Sunday, Dec. 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ag Building (5630 South Broadway, Eureka)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
PCR and rapid testing available.

Eureka — Monday, Dec. 13, 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 Booster Clinic — Tuesday, Dec. 14, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 18 and older.
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
No testing available.
Appointments required.

Eureka Pediatric Clinic — Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1:15 to 3:30 p.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 5 to 11. Pfizer only.
No testing available.
Appointments required.

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Dec. 14, 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 adults receiving a first or second dose.
Appointments strongly recommended.

Eureka— Wednesday, Dec. 15, noon. to 5 p.m
Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
No rapid testing available at this clinic. PCR testing offered through OptumServe on the lower floor of the Wharfinger Building.
Appointments strongly recommended.

Eureka— Thursday, Dec. 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
No rapid testing available at this clinic. PCR testing offered through OptumServe on the lower floor of the Wharfinger Building.
Appointments strongly recommended.

Eureka— Wednesday, Dec. 15, noon. to 5 p.m
Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
No rapid testing available at this clinic. PCR testing offered through OptumServe on the lower floor of the Wharfinger Building.
Appointments strongly recommended.

Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 10,346 with 460 hospitalizations and 120 COVID-19 related deaths.

Nationwide, more than 49.4 million cases have been confirmed with 791,963 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.8 million cases and 74,509 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.

Dec. 10, 2021 - 1 New Hospitalization, 14 New Cases Reported
Humboldt County Public Health reported today 14 new cases of COVID-19, bringing to 10,346 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. One new hospitalization was also reported, a resident in their 70s.

The California Department of Public Health announced today that 16- and 17-year-olds can now receive a Pfizer booster — if it has been at least six months since their initial Pfizer vaccination series.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized yesterday to expand eligibility to this age group with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encouraging everyone aged 16 and older to get a booster as soon they are eligible to increase protection against the Delta and Omicron variants.

Omicron has been identified in California and 22 other U.S. states so far and Public Health is continuing to conduct genetic testing locally to monitor while awaiting the arrival of the fast-spreading variant.

Stricter travel requirements by the CDC also went into effect this week for international passengers flying into the U.S. to show a negative test taken one day before their departure, regardless of vaccination status.

Residents who have travelled internationally in the past two weeks and test positive with at-home tests are asked to call the Joint Information Center at 1-707-441-5000 to report their results to Public Health. Those who have not travelled outside the U.S. and test positive with an at-home test for COVID-19 should notify their primary care provider, or Public Health if there is no provider, and isolate to limit the spread of disease.

Travelers leaving Humboldt County who are flying internationally should contact the airline prior to travel and stay current on their destination’s specific COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements. Information can be found for most countries at the U.S. Department of State’s travel advisory website.

Since the last data update on Dec. 3, the county has recorded 167 new cases of COVID-19. One death of a vaccinated resident in their 70s was reported during that period. Eight new hospitalizations of residents were also reported. Six were unvaccinated and two were vaccinated. Age ranges of reported hospitalizations are as follows:

1 person in their 30s
2 people in their 40s
2 people in their 60s
2 people in their 70s
1 person aged 80 or older.
The current seven-day average case rate in Humboldt County is approximately 15, meaning for every 100,000 residents, approximately 15 tested positive daily over the last seven days. Case rates vary considerably by vaccination status, as illustrated in the graph below, which depicts average weekly case rates since Dec. 2020 in unvaccinated and fully vaccinated residents.

click to enlarge document.jpg

The current seven-day average case rate for fully vaccinated individuals is 8 per 100,000 residents while the case rate for unvaccinated individuals is 25 per 100,000 residents. View a more detailed depiction of the case rate graph here.

All eligible adults aged 16 and older are encouraged to get a booster. Health officials also stress that those who are partially vaccinated should complete their vaccination series. A person who is fully vaccinated is half as likely to pass on the infection as someone who is unvaccinated. According to data from the CDC, an unvaccinated person is nearly six times more likely to get COVID-19 and 14 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than a vaccinated person.

Public Health is offering family vaccination clinics throughout December to give priority to children aged 5 to 11 and provide family members a convenient way to get their vaccines.

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:

Hoopa Family Clinic — Saturday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m
Hoopa High (101 Loop Road)
Ages 5-18 and family members.
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
PCR and rapid testing available.

Eureka — Sunday, Dec. 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ag Building (5630 South Broadway)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
PCR and rapid testing available.
Appointments strongly recommended.

Eureka — Monday, Dec. 13, 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 adults receiving a first or second dose.
Appointments required.

Eureka Booster Clinic — Tuesday, Dec. 14, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 16 and older.
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
No testing available.
Appointments required.

Eureka Pediatric Clinic — Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1:15 to 3:30 p.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 5 to 11. Pfizer only.
No testing available.
Appointments required.

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Dec. 14, 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 adults receiving a first or second dose.
Appointments strongly recommended.

Eureka— Wednesday, Dec. 15, noon. to 5 p.m
Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
No rapid testing available at this clinic. PCR testing offered through OptumServe on the lower floor of the Wharfinger Building.
Appointments strongly recommended.

Eureka— Thursday, Dec. 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
No rapid testing available at this clinic. PCR testing offered through OptumServe on the lower floor of the Wharfinger Building.
Appointments strongly recommended.

Blue Lake Family Clinic— Friday, Dec. 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Blue Lake Resource Center (111 Greenwood Road)
Ages 5-18 and family members.
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
PCR and rapid 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
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