County Confirms One New COVID-19 Case, State Releases Social Gathering Guidelines

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Public Health reported one new confirmed COVID-19 case again today, bringing the county's total to 529.

The county also revamped its risk assessment tool to better align with the state's tiered system, which earlier this week upgraded Humboldt County to "minimal" risk due to the county being the only one in California to meet a new "equity metric."

“We are making this change in order to align with the state’s new framework and avoid any confusion," Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a press release. "It is critically important that everyone in the community is able to easily access the information needed to help them navigate as safely as possible through the pandemic.”

Despite Humboldt County's being upgraded to the "minimal" risk tier, health officials cautioned that a rise in case counts could easily tip the county back into a more restrictive level.

The county also reported that the state has released new guidance regarding social gatherings, which limit gatherings to no more than three households and requires they be held outdoors.

"Those households should be stable over time to reduce the risk of virus transmissions," a county press release states. "Gatherings should be held outdoors, and the space should be large enough to allow for physical distancing between households at all times. This is intended for private and family gathering and does not replace existing sector guidance."

Humboldt currently has a test positivity rate of 1.5 percent and 2 cases per 100,000 individuals, according to data released Tuesday. The statewide level is 7.1 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 3.2 percent.

Under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — 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.

To date, Humboldt County has seen 32 hospitalizations and eight deaths. Today's results include the processing of 283 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.


Oct. 9, 2020 - Only One New Case Reported Again Today; State Moves to Allow Limited Gatherings

707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
Only One New Case Reported Again Today
A total of 529 county residents have tested positive for COVID-19, after a single case was reported today.

State Moves to Allow Limited Gatherings
The California Department of Public Health this evening released long-anticipated guidance that outlines state requirements for all private gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This guidance seeks to define the size of allowable gatherings and to reduce the number of possible exposures by limiting gatherings to no more than three households. Those households should be stable over time to reduce risk of virus transmission. Gatherings should be held outdoors, and the space should be large enough to allow for physical distancing between households at all times. This is intended for private and family gatherings and does not replace existing sector guidance.

County residents are urged to read the guidance in full at cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/CDPH-Guidance-for-the-Prevention-of-COVID-19-Transmission-for-Gatherings-10-09.aspx.

EOC Open for Business on Monday, Oct. 12
The Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be open on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Monday, Oct. 12, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions related to COVID-19. Call 707-441-5000, or email covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us with questions.

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov.


Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/dashboard,
Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19,
Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19,
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19, and
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert


Oct. 9, 2020 - COVID-19 Dashboard Now Includes Tier Status, Modified Risk Level Tool
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
The Humboldt County Data Dashboard (humboldtgov.org/dashboard) now reflects the county’s current tier assignment under California’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” The Alert Level Assessment Tool has been replaced with a Community Risk Level Tool that includes both tier status and information about individual risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Humboldt County is currently assigned to the yellow or minimal tier. The Community Risk Level Tool defines tiers as:

Widespread or Purple/Tier 1 – Widespread outbreak that is growing with many undetected cases. Take strong measures to limit all contact.
Substantial or Red/Tier 2 – Many cases with conditions for community spread, with many undetected cases likely. Limit everyday activities to increase safety.
Moderate or Orange/Tier 3 – Moderate number of cases with majority of cases from a known source. Increase efforts to limit personal exposure.
Minimal or Yellow/Tier 4 – Cases are somewhat sporadic, and contact tracing can be used to control the virus. Take everyday enhanced precautions.
The new tool also includes data used by the state to determine tier status, adjusted case rate and positivity rate, which are calculated over a seven-day period with a seven-day lag.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said, “We are making this change in order to align with the state’s new framework and avoid any confusion. It is critically important that everyone in the community is able to easily access the information needed to help them navigate as safely as possible through the pandemic.”

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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