Medical / Health

Friday, October 23, 2020

Eureka Bar Owner Decries 'Selective Enforcement' After Knowingly, Repeatedly Violating COVID Orders

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 5:16 PM

The city of Eureka has threatened to fine a local venue as much as $5,000 per violation if it continues with a scheduled burlesque and heavy metal show tomorrow night that would be in violation of state and county COVID-19 health orders, which still prohibit live entertainment performances.
The Siren's Song Tavern in pre-COVID times. - FILE
  • File
  • The Siren's Song Tavern in pre-COVID times.

Eureka Interim City Manager Miles Slattery said city code enforcement officials reached out to Siren’s Song Tavern owner JD Pegg yesterday after the county’s Joint Information Center informed city officials that it had contacted Pegg three times to notify him live performances remain prohibited but the venue had continued to schedule and advertise live shows, including karaoke nights and local bands. The county has tried the education angle to no avail, Slattery said, so the city’s code enforcement unit contacted Pegg to warn he could face fines of up to $5,000 per violation and potentially misdemeanor citations for operation in violation of the county’s health order.

“Hopefully, this gets his attention,” Slattery said. “This guy could care less. It’s just sad to me. First of all, it’s unfair. There’s plenty of other locations that would like to be doing the same but are following the rules. … If they continue to pursue (the show), we’ll have to take further action.”

Reached by the Journal this morning, Pegg, however, contended that if someone is being treated unfairly, it’s him. Striking a defiant tone, Pegg said the state and local orders prohibiting live performances are unfair to venues in comparatively low risk areas of the state, like Humboldt County, and that he’s fallen victim to “selective enforcement” that allows other venues flaunt the rules while he has been repeatedly contacted and threatened with fines.
“You know how much spread we’ve caused? Zero,” he said. “We’ve been doing live events for three fucking months now. Have we caused an outbreak? Has the Fortuna school district that’s been in session for months now? No. … There’s no fucking COVID here. There’s like 17 cases and they’re all at home. They’re not going out for fucking drinks. I don’t deal in hypotheticals, I deal in reality. That’s what all this COVID shit is, is hypothetical.”

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Public Health Confirms One New COVID-19 Case

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 3:43 PM

Humboldt County confirmed one new COVID-19 case today, making 18 this week and a total case count of 562.

Under California Department of Public Health data released Tuesday, Humboldt County remains in the yellow or minimal tier under the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” with a positivity rate of 0.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 1.

But health officials warn a spike in cases would be enough to push Humboldt back into a more restrictive tier.

Right now, under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only seven other counties in California are currently in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

Today's results came after 238 test samples were processed with a positivity rate of 0.4 percent. To date, Humboldt County has seen 36 hospitalizations and nine COVID-related deaths, the most recent a 38-year-old man.

According to Johns Hopkins University, nearly 8.4 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed nationally, including 223,752 deaths. Those include 880,724 cases in California, with 17,189 fatalities, according to California Department of Public Health.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was updated last week to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which are reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

County Confirms Two New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2020 at 4:38 PM

Humboldt County Public Health reported two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today and also that a previously reported case has been reassigned to another county, bringing Humboldt's total case count to 561.

The county also announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has updated its definition of "close contact" to a COVID-19 case, now defining it as someone who was with 6 feet of known case for a total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period starting from two days before the onset of symptoms or a positive test for asymptomatic cases.

Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a press release that the change illustrates one of the reasons the state of California is still not allowing large events, festivals or live performances of any kind.

“This change really highlights how the science is constantly evolving as we learn about this virus.” she said. “One of the things we do know is that the surest way to keep our businesses open and children in school is to follow state and local orders and refrain from hosting or attending live events, get-togethers or any other gathering that brings more than three households together.”

Under California Department of Public Health data released Tuesday, Humboldt County remains in the yellow or minimal tier under the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” with a positivity rate of 0.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 1.

But health officials warn a spike in cases would be enough to push Humboldt back into a more restrictive tier.

Right now, under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only seven other counties in California are currently in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

Today's results came after 250 test samples were processed with a positivity rate of 0.8 percent. To date, Humboldt County has seen 36 hospitalizations and nine COVID-related deaths, the most recent a 38-year-old man.

According to Johns Hopkins University, nearly 8.4 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed nationally, including 222,940 deaths. Those include 877,784 cases in California, with 17,027 fatalities, according to California Department of Public Health.
The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was updated last week to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which are reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Humboldt Marks 8 Months Since First COVID Case

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 4:11 PM

Eight months after Humboldt had its first confirmed COVID-19 case, becoming the first rural county in the United States to do so, the case total stands at 560, with Public Health reporting two positive tests today.

“We’ve all been living through this pandemic for quite a while, and that can take a toll,” County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a news release. “Maintaining relationships with our loved ones, getting adequate exercise and taking time to unwind are just a few healthy coping strategies that can be enjoyed while following COVID safety precautions.”

Under California Department of Public Health data released Tuesday, Humboldt County remains in the yellow or minimal tier under the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” with a positivity rate of 0.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 1.

But health officials warn a spike in cases would be enough to push Humboldt back into a more restrictive tier.

Right now, under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only seven other counties in California are currently in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

Today's results included 296 test samples. To date, Humboldt County has seen 36 hospitalizations and nine COVID-related deaths, the most recent a 38-year-old man.
The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was updated last week to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which are reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.


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 assess risk factors for contracting the illness, which can be found at 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

Read the county's news release below:

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Humboldt Holds onto 'Minimal' Risk Tier

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 4:07 PM

Public Health confirmed four new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county's total at 558. Another hospitalization was also reported.

Under new California Department of Public Health data, Humboldt County continues its stay in the yellow or minimal tier under the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” with a positivity rate of 0.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 1.0.

But health officials warn Humboldt's hold in the tier could be fleeting.

Under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only seven other counties in California are currently in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

Today's results included 93 test samples. To date, Humboldt County has seen 36 hospitalizations and nine deaths, the most recent being a 38-year-old man, according to the Times-Standard, which reports Sheriff William Honsal described him as a "fairly healthy" individual with "underlying conditions" who tested positive during his autopsy, the results of which are pending.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was updated last week to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which will be reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included. Both Arcata and Eureka showed an increase in cases compared to last week.

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 assess risk factors for contracting the illness, which can be found at 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.

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Humboldt Sees Ninth COVID-Related Death: A Person in Their 30s

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 4:18 PM

Public Health reported a person in their 30s has become Humboldt County's ninth COVID-related death, with 10 new cases confirmed since Friday, bringing the county's total at 554.

County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich offered her sympathies.

“To those who have been impacted by this loss, our thoughts are with you,” she said in a news release.

Humboldt remains in the state's "minimum" risk tier but health officials have warned that a spike in cases could send Humboldt back into a more restrictive tier.
New data on Humboldt's case rate and positivity rate, as well as statewide stats, are scheduled to be released tomorrow.

Under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only seven other counties in California are currently in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was updated last week to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which will be reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included. Both Arcata and Eureka showed an increase in cases compared to last week.

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 assess risk factors for contracting the illness, which can be found at 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.
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Friday, October 16, 2020

Public Health: No COVID-19 Cases Confirmed Today

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 3:40 PM

For the first time in nearly a month, Humboldt County Public Health reported no new confirmed COVID-19 cases today, leaving the county's total at 544.

Today's confirmed report comes after laboratories processed 223 samples, with a positivity rate of 0 percent.

In a press release, Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said that while residents should continue to focus of prevention measures, activity and exercise also play an important role in public health.

“This is a great time to get outside and take advantage of warmer weather,” she said. “Getting outdoors regularly to walk, bike, hike or engage in other low-risk activities can boost energy levels and improve both your mental and physical health. We’re so incredibly lucky to live here in beautiful Humboldt where we can enjoy being active outdoors while easily distancing and following all COVID-19 safety precautions.”

Under state data released Tuesday, Humboldt remains in the "minimum" risk tier with a test positivity rate of 0.7 percent and an adjusted case rate of 1.1 per 100,000 people, an improvement from last week's 1.5 percent and 2 cases stats.

But health officials have warned that a jump in cases could relegate Humboldt into a more restrictive tier.

The statewide level is now 6.8 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 3.4 percent.

Under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only seven other counties in California are in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

New this week, Humboldt County Data Dashboard now includes hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which will be reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 8 million cases have been confirmed nationally, including 375,244 in the last seven days, with a total of 216,917 deaths. In California, 861,476 COVID-19 cases have been reported to date, including 16,830 deaths, according to the Department of Public Health.

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Public Health Confirms Two New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 4:19 PM


Humboldt County Public Health reported two new confirmed COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county's total to 544.

Today's report comes after the county confirmed eight new cases yesterday, the largest single day tally in a month. Today's confirmed cases came after laboratories processed 278 samples, with a positivity rate of 0.7 percent.

Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a press release that safety measures are increasingly important as flue season begins, urging residents to get a flu shot.

“Coronavirus and influenza virus infections will be circulating at the same time in our community,” she said. “Flu vaccination is another Public Health tool we have to protect members of our community who are most susceptible to flu or COVID complications and to protect our health care system capacity to serve those in need.”

Frankovich reminded residents that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over 6 months of age get vaccinated for the flu.

Under state data released this week, Humboldt remains in the "minimum" risk tier with a test positivity rate of 0.7 percent and an adjusted case rate of 1.1 per 100,000 people, an improvement from last week's 1.5 percent and 2 cases stats.

But health officials have warned that a jump in cases could relegate Humboldt into a more restrictive tier.

The statewide level is now 6.8 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 3.4 percent.

Under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only seven other counties in California are in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

New this week, Humboldt County Data Dashboard now includes hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which will be reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 7.9 million cases have been confirmed nationally, including 366,645 in the last seven days, with a total of 216,025 deaths. In California, 858,401 COVID-19 cases have been reported to date, including 16,757 deaths, according to the Department of Public Health.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Humboldt Sees Largest Single Day COVID Case Count in October

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2020 at 4:07 PM

Public Health reported eight new confirmed COVID-19 cases today, the largest single day number in a month, bringing the county's total to 542.

“This commitment to each other’s health and well-being is a testament to the character of our community,” County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said. “As the state just released guidance for limited gatherings of up to three households and with the holidays right around the corner, now is the time to continue our focus on prevention measures. It’s vital to our success going forward.”

Under state data released this week, Humboldt remains in the "minimum" risk tier with a test positivity rate of 0.7 percent and an adjusted case rate of 1.1 per 100,000 people, an improvement from last week's 1.5 percent and 2 cases stats.

But health officials have warned that a jump in cases could relegate Humboldt into a more restrictive tier.

The statewide level is now 6.8 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 3.4 percent.

Under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only seven other counties in California are in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

New this week, Humboldt County Data Dashboard now includes hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which will be reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.


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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Spartans Heading Back Down South

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2020 at 8:24 PM

The Spartans are heading home tomorrow after a brief stay in Arcata following word from Santa Clara County Public Health that the San Jose State University football team was cleared to practice back in the Bay Area.

According to a Tuesday night news release from Humboldt State University, the 140-member entourage of players, coaches and staff could return if things change on the COVID front in their neck of the woods.

University officials announced Sept. 30 that the campus would be "partnering" with its California State University sister campus to the south to bring the Spartans to town because the team was not cleared at the time to conduct practices at home in Santa Clara County due to COVID restrictions there.

Read more about the arrangement and responses from health officials in the story, “Their Success is Our Success,” by clicking here.

Before and after arriving in Humboldt on Oct. 2, according to HSU, none of the Spartans tested positive for COVID-19. Find out more about that here.

Read the HSU release below.
San José State University’s football team will return to the SJSU campus following its morning practice on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

The news comes as Santa Clara County Public Health announced the team could return to practice at its home field after Santa Clara County’s COVID-19 risk level was downgraded from the red to orange tier — or moderate level.

Note that should Santa Clara County return to the red tier, HSU will consult with Humboldt County Public Health and SJSU about the viability of the team’s return to HSU to proceed safely for practice and/or competition.

Starting Thursday, Oct. 15, faculty, staff, and students will have access to the Redwood Bowl from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 6 - 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The SJSU team arrived Friday, Oct. 2 after testing negative for COVID-19 in Santa Clara County. The team had been in a bubble since July. Two tests in the week after they arrived show no positives among the approximately 140 players, coaches and staff that stayed and practiced on campus. More information about SJSU’s practices is available here.
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