Humboldt Hits Three Weeks in Minimal Tier

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Public Health reported one new COVID-19 case today, bringing the county's total case count to 568.

For a third week, Humboldt County remains in the "minimal" risk tier under the state's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy," according to California Department of Public Health data, with a positivity rate of 1.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 2.8 per 100,000.

“Fortunately, our internal data review for the past week looks favorable for remaining in yellow when the next state assessment is released on Nov. 3,” Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich in a news release. “It is critically important to the entire community that we adhere to safety measures and keep our case rates low going forward.”

However, according to the release, "two consecutive weeks of a case rate greater than 2.0 would move the county fully into the orange tier."

By comparison, the state overall has a positivity rate of 3.2 and case rate of 7.2.

Right now, 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. Read more about what it means here.

The county's Joint Information Center release also states that California has released  "partial guidance for live artistic, theatrical and musical performances, which will be permitted outdoors and only in counties in the orange (Moderate) and yellow (Minimal) risk levels of the 'Blueprint for a Safer Economy.'”

Frankovich said in the release that she was looking forward to seeing the state's full guidance on such performances.

“In the meantime,” Frankovich said, “we are happy to have the ability to review and approve plans for small, structured events outdoors that incorporate all of the prevention measures we have used to get us into the yellow tier.”

Today's results came after 167 test samples were processed. To date, Humboldt County has seen 36 hospitalizations and 10 COVID-related deaths.
The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was recently updated to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which are reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.



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 release below:
Humboldt County’s confirmed COVID-19 case count now stands at 568, after one new case was reported today. Humboldt County officially remains in the yellow (Minimal) tier this week, although local data for the week ending Oct. 17 meets the metrics for the orange (Moderate) tier with a case rate of 2.8.

Two consecutive weeks of a case rate greater than 2.0 would move the county fully into the orange tier.

“Fortunately, our internal data review for the past week looks favorable for remaining in yellow when the next state assessment is released on Nov. 3,” said Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich. “It is critically important to the entire community that we adhere to safety measures and keep our case rates low going forward.”

Additionally, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released partial guidance for live artistic, theatrical and musical performances, which will be permitted outdoors and only in counties in the orange (Moderate) and yellow (Minimal) risk levels of the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.”

Dr. Frankovich said she was looking forward to seeing the full guidance from the state.

“In the meantime,” she said, “we are happy to have the ability to review and approve plans for small, structured events outdoors that incorporate all of the prevention measures we have used to get us into the yellow tier.”

Plans for such events can be submitted to the county as Spectator-Free events (https://humboldtgov.org/2756/Business-Compliance) and will be routed to the Health Officer for approval as required by the state. For more information on the partial guidance, visit the state Q&A page at https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/#top

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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