Public Health Announces Spike in Local COVID-19 Cases with Nine New Positives


Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory staff analyzing a COVID-19 test. - HUMBOLDT COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
  • Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services
  • Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory staff analyzing a COVID-19 test.
Humboldt County's spike in positive COVID-19 cases continued today in a big way, with Public Health announcing a 32 percent increase — nine new cases, bringing the county's total to 37.

All but two of those has been announced over the last nine days.

“Follow the shelter-in-place order, and if you must leave your home, practice social distancing,” Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a press release. “That is still the best way to protect yourself and your family.”

To date, 18 of Humboldt County's cases have been traced back to contact with another confirmed positive patient, 11 were travel-acquired and three are believed to have been contracted through an unknown source in the community, according to Public Health. Five others remain under investigation.

The new cases come on the heels of six announced March 31 and one new case yesterday, with the county having issued a modified shelter-in-place order and declared a local emergency March 30.

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 28, followed by four more March 28 and three on March 30. Then came the six March 31, one yesterday and today's nine.

Two of Humboldt's 37 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized but local officials have declined to provide any details on their condition.

Statewide, as of April 1, California had recorded 8,155 positive cases, 1,855 hospitalizations and 171 deaths confirmed to be connected 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:

April 2, 2020 - Nine New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed Today

A total of 37 Humboldt County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after nine new cases were confirmed today.

No additional cases of community transmission have been confirmed at this time. Another person has been hospitalized, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to two since the outbreak began.

Data available to date indicates the following means of transmission for all Humboldt County cases:

Contact to a Known Case: 18
Travel-Acquired: 11
Community Transmission: 3
Under Investigation: 5
Approximately 75 percent of cases are located in areas in or around Eureka, Arcata, McKinleyville and Fortuna. Fifty-three percent are male, while 47 percent are female. The mean age of all local cases is 42.

As the number of cases continues to rise, Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich stressed the importance of being proactive to “flatten the curve” and prevent spread of the virus. “Follow the shelter-in-place order, and if you must leave your home, practice social distancing,” she said. “That is still the best way to protect yourself and your family.”

For the most recent information on COVID-19, visit or Local information is available at or during business hours by contacting [email protected] or calling 707-441-5000.

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