HumCo Remains in Red Tier, Three New COVID-19 Cases Reported


Humboldt County Public Health reported three new COVID-19 cases today — making 29 so far this week — as well as a new hospitalization.

The new cases came after laboratories processed 60 samples with a test-positivity rate of 5 percent, bringing the county's cumulative count to 3,476.

The state of California, meanwhile, updated its COVID-19 risk tiers today, keeping Humboldt County in the red "substantial" tier, meaning restaurants, movie theaters, churches and other organizations are allowed to continue limited indoor operations.

Data shows the county with a seven-day average test-positivity rate of 2.2 percent and a daily case rate of 4.6 per 100,000, both of which decreased slightly from the previous week. California as a whole, meanwhile, has a 1.8 percent test-positivity rate and 4.8 cases per 100,000.

The county's Joint Information Center will be closed tomorrow in honor of Cesar Chavez Day, so no new test results will be reported until Thursday.

Yesterday, the county recorded its 36th COVID-related death and its second in three days, bringing the virus' local death toll to 36. Public Health also reported yesterday that it is updating its guidance to recommend testing before and after travel outside the area, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control recommendations, though health officials still strongly discourage non-essential travel beyond 120 miles from one's residence.

Humboldt County Public Health reported Thursday that it expects to receive nearly 7,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses from the state this week, representing a 25-percent increase from the prior week's allocation.

Gov. Gavin Newsom also announced last week that California will open up vaccination eligibility to all residents age 50 and older Thursday, with those age 16 and older then becoming eligible beginning April 15, based on an expected increase in vaccination supply. County health officials, however, warned that a "significant increase in supply" would be necessary to begin vaccinating all residents over the age of 16.

In the latest update of vaccine numbers last week, the county reported that 49,378 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered. More than 18,800 local residents had been fully vaccinated and 23.4 percent of local residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, while more than 55 percent of residents age 75 and older are fully vaccinated, the county reported.

Vaccination clinics remain by appointment only and residents are urged to fill out a vaccine interest form so they can be notified when they are eligible.

The state has also announced that beginning Thursday outdoor sports events and live performances will be cleared to reopen with fans and spectators, so long as facial coverings are worn at all times, venues follow tier-based capacity restrictions and provide reserved, assigned seating. (Read more here.)

Currently, local residents over the age of 65, healthcare workers, teachers, first responders, food and agricultural workers, and residents ages 16 to 65 with one of a specific list of high-risk medical conditions or disabilities are eligible to receive their shots, with the first vaccine clinic for the food and ag sector set for next week. The clinics remain by invitation only to control exposure risks and ensure vaccinations are administered according to the county's priority tiers, with residents urged to complete the county's vaccination interest form to be notified when they are eligible.

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

To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 3,476 cases, with 135 hospitalizations and 36 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 3,371 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 healthy patients.

The county’s test positivity rate has gone from 3.6 percent in November, to 7.3 percent in December and 9.9 percent in January, before dropping to 6.5 percent in February. In March, it dropped to 4.5 percent.

Nationwide, more than 30 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 547,296 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, 3.6 million cases have been confirmed with 57,788 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 [email protected] or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at [email protected] 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 release below:

Mar. 30, 2021 - 3 New Cases Reported Today
707-441-5000 ; [email protected] ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
Three new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Humboldt County today, bringing the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus to 3,476.

The Joint Information Center will be closed Wednesday, March 31, in observance of César Chávez Day. The office will reopen Thursday, April 1, for regular operating hours — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The holiday does not impact Public Health’s scheduled vaccine clinics or no-cost COVID-19 testing through OptumServe.

The California Department of Public Health today updated county tier assignments under the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” Humboldt County remains in the “Red” or Substantial tier with an adjusted case rate of 4.5 per 100,000 residents and a positivity rate of 2.2%. Read more about the “Blueprint” at

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit or Local information is available at or during business hours by contacting [email protected] or calling 707-441-5000.

Some Safeway and CVS Pharmacy locations are offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments. See if there are appointments available for your age group or sector at one of these locations by clicking on the links below.


CVS Pharmacy:

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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