Public Health Reports 39 New COVID Cases Since Thursday, Uptick in Available ICU Capacity


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Humboldt County Public Health reported today that 39 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed locally since Thursday, with one new hospitalization, as well.

But today's press release also reported that 23 previously reported positive cases have been removed from the county's cumulative case tally, either because they were false positives, unconfirmed or the patient was determined to reside outside the county. One previously reported hospitalization was also rescinded, leaving the county with cumulative tallies of 3,025 confirmed cases and 124 hospitalizations.

The positive cases reported today were confirmed after 819 samples were processed with a test-positivity rate of 4.8 percent.

While it took the county 290 days to record its first 1,000 cases, the next 2,000 came over the span of 69 days.

The state of California, meanwhile, updated its COVID-19 risk tiers last week, with Humboldt and all but five other counties remaining in the most restrictive purple "widespread" tier.

The state data shows Humboldt County having recorded an average of 15.9 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 residents with a seven-day average test positivity rate of 5.2 percent, though the state's data lags more than a week behind local numbers. The state as a whole reported averaging 33.1 new cases per day per 100,000 residents with an average test positivity rate of 8.5 percent.

Vaccination efforts, meanwhile, continue to move slowly forward, with residents over the age of 75, healthcare workers, teachers and first responders currently eligible to receive their shots. In a press release yesterday, Public Health urged any local residents 75 and older who haven't been contacted by their primary care provider or who don't have one to call the Joint Information Center at 441-5000 to schedule a COVD-19 vaccination.
Public Health reported Friday that it is slated to receive 3,550 additional vaccine doses this week. In today's press release, the county said it plans to administer 2,000 second doses of vaccine this week and urged anyone who's second vaccine dose is due within the next five days but hasn't been contacted to schedule an appointment to call the Joint Information Center at 441-5000.

Regardless of who's administering vaccines, the county reminds residents that clinics are by appointment or invitation only at this point, based on the state's prioritization schedule, and walk-ups will not be accommodated.

Residents are urged to continue to follow COVID safety guidelines as vaccinations roll out, which could take months.

To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 3,025 cases, with 124 hospitalizations and 32 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths. Thirteen Humboldt County residents are currently hospitalized, according to the county's dashboard, including four under intensive care. Humboldt County's ICU capacity is listed at 25 percent.

The county dashboard lists 2,838 people as having "recovered" from the virus locally, though that just means they are no longer contagious and does not account for long-term health impacts, which local healthcare workers have told the Journal can be substantial, even in previously health patients.

The county’s test positivity rate has gone from 3.6 percent in November, to 7.3 percent in December, to 9.9 percent in January. Through the first 15 days of February, the test-positivity rate sits at 7.4 percent.

Nationwide, more than 27.4 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 482,536 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, 3.4 million cases have been confirmed with 47,043 deaths, according to the Department of Public Health.

The state has issued a travel advisory strongly discouraging all non-essential travel and urging anyone returning from non essential, out-of-state travel needs to self-quarantine for a minimum of 10 days upon their return.

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 or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at 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.

Read the county's release below:
Feb. 15, 2021 - 39 New Cases Reported
707-441-5000 ; ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
Thirty-nine new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed since the most recent report on Thursday.

The Public Health Data Taskforce recently completed a routine audit of previous illness, hospitalization and death reports and is making the following adjustments:

Twenty-three previously reported COVID-19 positives have been removed either due to false positive test results, unconfirmed presumptive positive test results, or because the patient was determined not to have been a resident of Humboldt County. That leaves a total of 3,025 positive cases since the pandemic began.
One hospitalization has been removed due to the false positive test result mentioned above, and one new hospitalization has been reported for a cumulative total of 124 hospitalizations.
In vaccination news, outreach to residents is underway to schedule more than 2,000 second-dose appointments this week. If your second-dose clinic date is within five days and you have not yet been contacted to schedule an appointment, please contact your provider or call the Joint Information Center at 707-441-5000.

Local COVID-19 vaccine information:
Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard:
Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19
Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19
Humboldt Health Alert:


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