Public Health: No New COVID-19 Cases Today

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HUMBOLDT COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
  • Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services
For the first time in more than two weeks, Humboldt County Public Health announced today zero new COVID-19 cases today, leaving the county's total at 50.

After the county's caseload double last week, the rate of positive tests results has slowed considerably with five positive tests confirmed Sunday and Monday, one yesterday and none today.

It's the first day without a positive local test since March 23.

In an April 6 presentation to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich explained flattening the curve and slowing the rate of infection provides Humboldt County’s best chance to weather the coming COVID-19 storm, which is why the county has taken some aggressive measures to halt the virus’ spread. Those ramped up last week, when county officials modified an existing shelter-in-place-order, declared a local emergency, advised local schools to remain shuttered through the week and on April 5 urged residents to wear facial coverings when out in public.

Frankovich said the hope is that these measures would be successful in delaying intense local caseloads, potentially leaving the area with a longer period of COVID but keeping it from hitting the “high velocity” of cases that would overwhelm the local healthcare system. (More on capacity issues below.) That would also leave hope, she said, for the possibility that by the time Humboldt County sees peak infection rates, other areas of the state and country would be emerging from the virus’ worst, allowing them to help Humboldt with additional resources, from equipment and healthcare workers to expertise.



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 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 www.providence.org/patients-and-visitors/coronavirus-advisory.

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:

Total new positive cases confirmed on April 8: 0

Daily COVID-19 case report for April 8

Total number of positive cases: 50
Total number of hospitalizations: 3
Total number of people tested by Public Health Laboratory: 688

Total number of people tested by all other sources: 555
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health and commercial labs)

The Public Health Laboratory currently has a capacity of approximately 450 tests and can process about 55 samples a day with an approximate turnaround time of 48 to 72 hours.

For the most recent information about COVID-19, visit CDC.gov or CDPH.ca.gov. For local information, visit humboldtgov.org, call 707-441-5000 or email covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us.

Notes on patient and demographic data

To protect the identity of people with COVID-19, their specific location of residence will not be disclosed. The Humboldt County Public Health Branch is legally responsible for protecting personal health information, including residence address, specific age, recent travel, the identities and locations of any contacts, the provider of medical treatment, the course of illness and any other information that might identify an individual with or exposed to the virus unless it serves the interests of public health to do so.

Although we understand it is of interest to residents, providing location and other demographic information to the general public does nothing to slow the spread of illness. Humboldt County is experiencing untraceable person-to-person transmission, also known as “community spread,” and there is no place that can be considered safe. To reduce your chances of acquiring or spreading COVID-19, avoid travel, wash your hands, keep yourself and your environment clean, follow the shelter-in-place order, and do not leave home for any reason unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.

The following case information is provided daily Monday through Saturday:

New positive cases
Total positive cases to date
Total hospitalizations to date
Total Public Health Lab tests to date
Total commercial lab tests to date
Public Health Lab test capacity, total and daily, and estimated turnaround time
Transmission data
traveler-acquired
contact to known case
community transmission
under investigation
Additional information will be provided each Friday:

Regional data
currently measured by percentage in densely populated area
soon to be represented instead by region after minimum thresholds of positive cases per region have been reached
Gender
Mean age
Test rates and positive test rates relative to the State of California.

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