Two New COVID Cases Reported

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Public Health reported two new confirmed COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county's total to 524.

Today’s overall alert level remains at two or the moderate risk level yellow, which is based on spread, the local health care system's capacity and the county's effectiveness of controlling the virus. Visit humboldtgov.org/dashboard to view the county’s Alert Level Assessment tool.

Humboldt was moved into the “minimal” COVID rating under the state's four-tiered system, with a test positivity rate of 1.5 percent and 2 cases per 100,000 individuals, according to data released today.

The statewide level is 7.1 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 3.2 percent.

Under the lowest risk category, most indoor businesses can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only six other counties in California are in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

The move down a notch from the "moderate" level comes as the state began requiring counties to meet a new "equity metric" or "demonstrate targeted investments to eliminate disparities in levels of COVID-19 transmission, depending on its size," under the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

In essence, counties need to close or work to address how COVID-19 cases have a greater impact certain communities, including lower income residents who are more likely to be on frontline jobs and persons of color.

According to the Times-Standard, Mark Ghaly, the secretary of California Health and Human Services, told the paper the county's equity metric is what allowed for the new designation.

The county said in an email sent out earlier today that more information will be released Wednesday regarding local COVID-19 data that resulted in the minimal ranking.

Last week, in response to a stabilization in cases and hospitalizations, the county upgraded both the "health care capacity" and "effectiveness of disease control" categories to Level 1, or what is termed the "new normal," from Level 2, or "moderate risk."
To date, Humboldt County has seen 32 hospitalizations and eight deaths. Today's results include the processing of 124 samples.

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 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 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.
A total of 524 Humboldt County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after two additional cases were reported today. Today, the California Department of Public Health moved Humboldt County into the least restrictive, yellow tier under the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.”

Detailed information about local impacts of the change in tiers will be provided tomorrow. Today’s alert level stands at two or level yellow. 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 covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.

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