A Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory employee processes a COVID-19 test.
The Humboldt County Joint Information Center reported today that it Public Health has confirmed nine new cases of COVID-19 — three in local residents and six in visitors to the area.
The new cases continue a spike that has now seen 51 cases — 45 in local residents — confirmed over the past 16 days, with 25 coming over the past six. The release does not specify whether the people who tested positive while here visiting family and friends are believed to have contracted the virus here or before arriving in Humboldt County.
It's the county's largest case spike since a 15-day period that began March 24 — five days after Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich issued a shelter-in-place order that confined people to their residences except for essential outings. And it's important to remember because of the virus' incubation period and delays in getting testing results, experts believe there's a lag time of roughly 14 days between expanded virus activity and increases in confirmed cases. (That's why cases spiked in March and early April even as residents were ordered to stay home.)
The new cases — confirmed after laboratories processed another 258 samples —bring the county's tally to 157, as the county is not including the positive tests from out-of-area residents in the local tally. Nonetheless, Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich pointed out in a press release they further emphasize the need to adhere to safety measures, including maintaining social distancing and postponing or canceling non-essential travel.
“Each one of us can make choices to lessen the impacts of this pandemic,” she said in the release. “Each one of us can choose to wear a facial covering when we leave our household. Each one of us can choose to stay home rather than attend a celebration or gathering. Our community is resilient when we work together, and that commitment to each other has never been more important than it is now.”
To date, 16 local residents have been hospitalized with COVID-19 at some point in their care, including four people who died of the disease, all residents of Alder bay Assisted Living.
Areas across the nation and in California are seeing rapid increases in not only the number of cases but hospitalizations and many are stepping back on reopenings, with the governor having recently ordered bars, beaches and dine-in restaurants closed in 19 counties.
Nationally, 50,304 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed today, while another 932 deaths were recorded, making 3 million people who have been infected in the U.S. with the disease and 131,065 fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, 6,090 new cases were confirmed yesterday, bringing the statewide tally to 277,774, with 6,448 fatalities, according to California Department of Public Health.
Humboldt County Public Health is urging residents who aren't experiencing symptoms to get tested free of charge at the mobile testing site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. (People experiencing symptoms should contact a healthcare provider, officials say.) Asymptomatic individuals can make an appointment to be tested by visiting https://Lhi.care/covidtesting
or calling (888) 634-1123. Tests will be administered free of charge, whether or not people have health insurance.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at email@example.com 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
Read the county's release below and view its case dashboard here
July 8, 2020 - Three New Cases Reported Today
707-441-5000 ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; Monday-Friday 8am to 7pm Opens in new window
Three additional Humboldt County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing to 157 the total number of residents who have contracted the virus. Six additional people tested positive but were here visiting family and friends and do not reside in Humboldt County. These six cases are not included in the county’s total.
Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich pointed out that although these cases will not be reflected in the total case count, they further emphasize the need to adhere to safety measures, including maintaining social distancing and postponing or canceling non-essential travel.
“Each one of us can make choices to lessen the impacts of this pandemic,” Dr. Frankovich said. “Each one of us can choose to wear a facial covering when we leave our household. Each one of us can choose to stay home rather than attend a celebration or gathering. Our community is resilient when we work together, and that commitment to each other has never been more important than it is now.”
For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting email@example.com or calling 707-441-5000.
Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/dashboard,
Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19,
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19, and
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert