In Humboldt County, healthcare workers have already said there are emergency room patients who have been waiting for days for transfers out of the area for specialized care because hospitals throughout the state don't have available beds.
While California has a case rate of 71.6 daily cases confirmed per 100,000 residents with a test positivity rate of 12.6 percent in data released last week, Humboldt has a case rate of 23.7 cases per 100,000 and a 6.8 percent positivity rate, both increases.
Meanwhile, the county's Joint Information Center is urging locals to get tested, calling it "one of the most helpful things county residents can do for the community at large," because it allows Public Health to catch cases early and limit spread. The state-run OptumServe testing site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka is open seven days a week and no-cost appointments can be made by clicking here or calling (888) 634-1123.
The Humboldt County Data Dashboard includes 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 the county. 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 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 assessing risk factors for contracting the illness, which can be found 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.
Three Humboldt County residents have died with COVID-19, and 29 additional cases were reported today. The total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus is now 2,754. One of the people who died was in their 60s, and two were in their 70s.
On behalf of Public Health and the Emergency Operations Center, staff extend their condolences to the friends, family members and medical professionals who cared for these residents.
So far this week, more than 900 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered at Public Health clinics with more than 420 first and second doses scheduled for today. Additionally, partners have administered hundreds of vaccines this week and are expected to vaccinate an additional 400 residents at clinics through the weekend. Vaccinations for some in-person kindergarten through 12th-grade educators and support staff began yesterday, and additional vaccination clinics are scheduled for this group this weekend. Distance learning educators and support staff are expected to start receiving vaccination invitations by mid-February.
Data is currently being gathered for child care and early education providers who are expected to start receiving vaccine clinic invites in mid- to late February. Residents who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can fill out the vaccine interest form at humboldtgov.org/InterestForm to be notified when appointments are available for their tier. Businesses or organizations designated for priority distribution by the state are encouraged to call the Joint Information Center at 707-441-5000 to learn which form should be used. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 707-441-5000.