Humboldt County COVID-19 Cases Now at 21


Public Health announced this evening that it has recorded three new positive COVID-19 cases.

Humboldt County's spike in COVID-19 cases continued Saturday, with Public Health announcing four new positive cases. Today's announcement brings the county-wide total to 21. All but one of those have been reported in the last 10 days, including news last week of Humboldt County's first COVID-19 related hospitalization. (Officials have declined to release any information about the hospitalized patient or their condition.)

  • Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services

Investigations remain ongoing into how the latest patients contracted the virus, with Public Health workers conducting extensive contact investigations to determine when and how they became infected.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Humboldt County has spiked sharply since the second positive test was reported March 20 in someone who had recently returned from traveling in a "high-risk" country. (The county's first positive test was announced Feb. 20 in someone who'd just returned from China and has since recovered.)

On March 24, the county announced three additional cases, including positive tests from two members of a group that had recently returned from international travel. The following day, it announced five additional positives, all related to the same traveling group. Two more tests came March 26, followed by two more March 27 and four on March 28.

To date, the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory has processed 328 tests, while corporate laboratories have processed an additional 216 samples. Public Health reports it has supplies on hand locally to conduct another 700 tests.

Statewide, California has recorded 5,763 positive cases and 135 deaths related to COVID-19.

Basics of COVID-19 
The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, state that symptoms of novel coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

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. St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial hospitals have opened tents on their campuses to begin screening patients who have “significant” symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus. The general hours of operation for the tents is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. but that is subject to change.

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 [email protected] or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at [email protected] 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

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.

See the full press release copied below:

Three cases of COVID-19 were confirmed today, bringing the total to 21 local cases since the outbreak in Humboldt County began.

The method of transmission for these new cases is under investigation.

Following the updated shelter-in-place order and social distancing guidelines continue to be the most effective way to prevent spread of COVID-19. Read the updated order here:

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