Public Health Reports 57 New COVID-19 Cases, Two New Hospitalizations

By

comment
Humboldt County Public Health reported it has confirmed 57 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, as well as two new hospitalizations.

With today's results, which came after 1,046 samples were tested with a test-positivity rate of 5.4 percent, the county has now confirmed a total of 3,124 COVID-19 cases to date. Last week's case count of 85— the county's lowest since mid November — represents a continued decrease from January, when the county was confirming 200-plus new cases a week.

According to the county's dashboard, nine local residents are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Local available intensive care unit capacity, meanwhile, sits at 25 percent.

Public Health officials are advising that local providers are reporting that some patients seeking care for mild cold or allergy-like symptoms have tested positive for COVID-19.

"Health officials point out that many people who contract the virus will experience mild symptoms, which makes it more likely an infected person will pass the virus along to others before they realize they're sick and possibly expose someone who could be more prone to complications," the press release states. "Public Health officials renewed their call for community members to get tested regularly, saying anyone who thinks they have a cold, food poisoning or allergies should isolate and get tested for COVID-19. For a full list of no-cost testing options, go to humboldtgov.org/COVIDTestRegistration."

The county's Joint Information Center also reported Friday that the state Department of Public Health has released updates guidelines for youth and adult recreational sports, which allow some to resume with safety measures in place in counties with case relates below an average of 14 new cases confirmed daily per 100,000 residents. The measures will take effect next Friday and the county will release additional information before then, according to the release.

Last Thursday, the county announced it had confirmed the presence of a never-before-seen COVID-19 variation in 16 cases associated with the catastrophic outbreak at Granada Rehabilitation and Wellness. Read more about that here.

Meanwhile, the state of California updated its COVID risk tier assignments last week and Humboldt County remains in the most restrictive purple "widespread" tier with most of the rest of the state. However, Public Health reported today that Humboldt County's recent data would meet the red "substantial" risk tier metrics if it continues for another week, which could trigger the loosening of some restrictions tomorrow. In a media availability last week, county Health Officer Ian Hoffman indicated he expected this to happen.

The state data shows Humboldt County having recorded an average of 8.2 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 residents with a seven-day average test positivity rate of 4.2 percent, though the state's data lags more than a week behind local numbers. The state as a whole reported averaging 24.2 new cases per day per 100,000 residents with an average test positivity rate of 6.5 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 today, the Joint Information Center reported that the county is planning three large vaccination clinics this week to administer 2,500 doses — including 1,000 first doses and 1,500 second doses.

The clinics remain by invitation only and residents are urged to complete the county's vaccination interest form to be notified when they are eligible.

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

To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 3,124 cases, with 132 hospitalizations and 32 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 2,953 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 19 days of February, the test-positivity rate sits at 6.8 percent.

Nationwide, more than 27.9 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 497,415 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, 3.4 million cases have been confirmed with 49,338 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 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 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. 22, 2021 - 57 New Cases Reported Since Friday

707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
A total of 3,124 Humboldt County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after 57 new cases have been reported since Friday.

Recent reports from local providers indicate that some patients seeking care for mild cold- or allergy-like symptoms test positive for COVID-19. Health officials point out that many people who contract the virus will experience mild symptoms, which makes it more likely an infected person will pass the virus along to others before they realize they’re sick and possibly expose someone who could be more prone to complications.

Public Health officials renewed their call for community members to get tested regularly, saying anyone who thinks they have a cold, food poisoning or allergies should isolate and get tested for COVID-19. For a full list of no-cost testing options, go to humboldtgov.org/COVIDTestRegistration.

Humboldt County Public Health, in partnership with local approved vaccinators, is planning three large-scale vaccination clinics this week where approximately 2,500 vaccines are expected to be administered. Of those, 1,500 are scheduled as second doses and 1,000 as first doses. Vaccination is available by appointment to people age 70 and over, health care workers, K-12 educators and support staff, emergency services workers and licensed child care providers. County residents can be notified when an appointment is available for their age group by filling out the online COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form.

To complete the Interest Form in English, visit humboldtgov.org/InterestForm.

Para completar el formulario de interés de vacunas en español, visite humboldtgov.org/formulariadeinteres.

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.


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

###



Add a comment