Monday, December 27, 2021

Public Health Confirms 178 New COVID-19 Cases, Five Hospitalizations

Posted By on Mon, Dec 27, 2021 at 3:33 PM

click to enlarge Humboldt County Public Health Microbiologist Annayal Yikum prepares patient samples for the COVID-19 testing process. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Humboldt County Public Health Microbiologist Annayal Yikum prepares patient samples for the COVID-19 testing process.

Humboldt County Public Health announced this afternoon that it has confirmed 178 new cases of COVID-19 locally since its last report Wednesday, with five new hospitalizations, including four of residents in their 40s.

Today's cases — which make 736 so far this month — come after laboratories processed 1,048 samples with a test-positivity rate of 17 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 14.4 percent through the first 27 days of December.

While the seven-day average test-positivity rate for the nation sits at 12 percent and California's has risen to 5.4 percent, Humboldt County's is 16.4 percent.

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, ventilate indoor spaces, get tested immediately regardless of vaccination status if any cold- or flu-like symptoms develop and stay home when sick. Eligible residents, health officials say, should get their booster shots, as well.

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.

A state database shows nine people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, with none under intensive care. The local hospital census peaked Sept. 3 with 42 COVID-19 patients.

The Food and Drug Administration recently authorized boosters for everyone age 16 and older 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.

Public Health reported Dec. 17 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 the case rate varies by vaccination status, with the unvaccinated seeing an average case rate of 16 per 100,000 residents compared to nine for the fully vaccinated.

click to enlarge document.jpeg

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 COVID-19, and the county has a host of no-cost clinics scheduled over the next week. With the upcoming holidays and high demand for testing and vaccine, Public Health highly recommends scheduling an appointment for either.  


Eureka — Tuesday, Dec. 28, 9 to 11:30 a.m. — Full
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 16 and older
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
No testing available
Appointments required.

Eureka Pediatric— Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1:15 to 4 p.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 5 to 11
Pfizer only
No testing available
Appointments required.

Eureka — Monday, Jan. 3, 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.

Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 10,836 with 473 hospitalizations and 122 COVID-19 related deaths.

Nationwide, more than 52.2 million cases have been confirmed with 813,792
deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.9 million cases and 75,461 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. 27, 2021 - 5 Hospitalizations, 178 New Cases Reported Since Wednesday
Humboldt County Public Health reported 178 new cases of COVID-19 since Wednesday, bringing to 10,836 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. Five new hospitalizations, four residents in their 40s and one in their 60s, were also reported.

State health officials are encouraging Californians to safely enjoy the holidays but are urging residents to get vaccinated and boosted to protect themselves from the Delta and Omicron variants. Residents aged 5 and older are eligible to get vaccinated and anyone aged 16 and older is encouraged to get a booster if it’s been six months or more since the completion of their initial vaccine series.

Although the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, health officials cite new data that suggests primary vaccination and booster shots can lessen impacts, including hospitalizations and deaths. No cases have been detected locally, but the Omicron variant has been confirmed throughout the country. Incidence of the variant is anticipated to rise over the next several weeks following holiday gatherings.

The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention recommends anyone who is sick or unvaccinated and has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 forego travel. All travelers are recommended to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and to isolate and get tested if they develop symptoms after travel.

COVID-19 testing is available through OptumServe at the Wharfinger Building at 1 Marina Way in Eureka seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments are required and can be made at lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 888-634-1123. Turnaround times for test results through OptumServe average two to three days.

OptumServe’s mobile testing site in Trinidad will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 28, and will reopen for regular testing on Tuesdays beginning Jan. 4.

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 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 Public Health vaccination and testing clinic dates, times, locations and available services:

Eureka — Tuesday, Dec. 28, 9 to 11:30 a.m. — FULL
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 16 and older
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
No testing available
$25 gift card for adults receiving a first or second dose
Appointments required.

Eureka Pediatric— Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1:15 to 4 p.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 5 to 11
Pfizer only
No testing available
Appointments required.

Eureka — Monday, Jan. 3, 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.

View the Data Dashboard online at humboldtgov.org/dashboard, or go to humboldtgov.org/DashboardArchives to download data from a previous time. Due to staffing considerations during the holidays, some weekly dashboard data will not be updated until the following week. 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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