Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff William Honsal talk COVID-19 at last night's virtual town hall meeting.
Humboldt County has recorded its first cases of community transmission of the COVID-19 virus, Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich announced at a virtual town hall meeting moderated by the Journal last night.
Frankovich said contact investigations in two recent positive cases failed to find the patients had any contacts with other people confirmed to have the virus or that they had traveled outside the local area, leading investigators to believe they contracted COVID-19 from an unknown source within the community.
“We must all acknowledge the fact that while case counts are incredibly important for monitoring this pandemic, everyone must assume that COVID is circulating within their own city or town, and act accordingly,” Frankovich said. “The measures we have been advocating remain critically important: staying at home unless you must go out for an essential need; staying at home when you’re ill until you have been without fever for three days without use of [fever reducing medicine], have had improvement in your symptoms and have had at least seven days since the onset of your symptoms; wash your hands frequently and well; use hand sanitizer when that isn’t available; cover your coughs and sneezes; clean commonly used surfaces.”
Frankovich's announcement topped off the town hall, which also saw local officials comment on the county’s revised shelter-in-place order, efforts to protect Humboldt’s homeless population and help them quarantine as needed, the declaration of a local emergency and efforts to stockpile protective equipment for healthcare workers and plan surge capacity for local hospitals.
Video of the entire meeting is embedded below. As of the latest report from Humboldt County Public Health, there are 21 confirmed local COVID-19 cases, which include the two believed to be from community transmission and one patient who has been hospitalized.