Only yesterday 10 new COVID-19 cases confirmed by Public Health was an unsettling single-day record. But today's reported positive test more than double that with 25, bringing Humboldt County's total to date to 280.
Still in the first week of the month, August has yielded 47 new confirmed infections.
In a release, County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich noted that two case clusters, one in a non-cannabis agricultural setting and another centered in Hoopa, played a role in the large numbers.
Frankovich is working with the K’ima:w Medical Center in Hoopa and has reached out to the California Department of Public Health and the California Office of Emergency Services "in anticipation of a possible need for additional support.," the release states.
Public Health’s contact tracing teams are actively investigating 32 cases, according to the county.
“Any time we identify a cluster of cases, it is important to respond swiftly to limit ongoing transmission in order to protect everyone in the community, especially those who are medically vulnerable and at greater risk of serious illness from COVID,” Frankovich said in the release. “As I have stated many times, sudden increases in cases can place an enormous strain on our county’s resources. This is why all of our prevention efforts are critically important to limit additional spread.
The Hoopa Valley Tribe reported last night that there were 23 active cases on the Hoopa Valley Reservation, but it is unclear how many of those are included in today's numbers because the county independently vets test results before adding them in.
The county COVID alert level — which runs on a scale of 1 to 4 — remains at 3. Level 3 is described as: "High risk — many cases with conditions for community spread, with many undetected cases likely. Limit everyday activities to increase safety."
To date, the county has seen 17 hospitalizations and four fatalities, all of them residents at Alder Bay Assisted Living. One hundred and eighty-nine of the cases are considered recovered, while the rest remain active.
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 email@example.com or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Twenty-five additional cases of COVID-19 were reported today, bringing to 280 the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus. This is the largest increase in cases recorded in a single day, only one day after the county reported double digit cases for the first time. Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich noted that much of this increase in numbers is related to two case clusters, one in a non-cannabis agricultural setting and another centered in Hoopa. She is working closely with the K’ima:w Medical Center and has also reached out to the California Department of Public Health and the California Office of Emergency Services in anticipation of a possible need for additional support. “Any time we identify a cluster of cases, it is important to respond swiftly to limit ongoing transmission in order to protect everyone in the community, especially those who are medically vulnerable and at greater risk of serious illness from COVID,” Dr. Frankovich said, adding that Public Health’s contact tracing teams are actively investigating 32 cases. “As I have stated many times, sudden increases in cases can place an enormous strain on our county’s resources. This is why all of our prevention efforts are critically important to limit additional spread.” Today’s alert level stands at three or level orange. Visit humboldtgov.org/dashboard to view the county’s Alert Level Assessment tool. 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.