Public Health Confirms Seven New COVID-19 Cases

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Humboldt County Public Health confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases today, making 42 so far this week and bringing the county's cumulative case count to 3,560.

The cases were confirmed after laboratories processed 196 samples with a test-positivity rate of 3.6 percent.

Last week, the county announced it is opening vaccine eligibility to all local residents age 16 and over almost a week in advance of the state's planned expansion and that the county was slated to receive 11,000 vaccine doses this week, a record to date. Anyone wanting to get vaccinated is encouraged to sign up on the state's My Turn vaccine registry.

Earlier today, Public Health announced it was following federal guidance and "pausing" administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after six women in other areas of the country reported getting blood clots within weeks of receiving the vaccine. Humboldt County was due to receive 650 doses of the single-dose vaccine this week.

The state of California also updated its COVID-19 risk tiers today, keeping Humboldt County in the orange "moderate" tier it entered last week, which allowed businesses such as restaurants, gyms and movie theaters to increase indoor operations, while allowing others — including bowling alleys and family fun centers — to open.

The change came after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state had met its goal of administering 4 million doses to socio-economically challenged areas, a trigger for increasing the epidemiological tier thresholds.

The state data released today shows Humboldt County with a test positive rate of 1.1 percent (compared to 2 percent last week) and a daily case rate of 2 per 100,000 compared the prior week's 4.6. California overall, meanwhile, reports a 1.8 percent test-positivity rate and 4.8 cases per 100,000.

Beginning April 1, the state cleared outdoor sports events and live performances 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.)

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 3,560 cases, with 137 hospitalizations and 36 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 3,446 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. Through the first seven days of April it sat at 1.9 percent.

Nationwide, more than 31 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 559,741 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, more than 3.6 million cases have been confirmed with 59,258 deaths, according to the Department of Public Health.

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 release below:


April 13, 2021 - 7 New Cases Reported Today; Capacities Expand for Tested, Vaccinated People

707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
A total of 3,560 Humboldt County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after seven new cases were reported today.

The State of California has set a goal of June 15 to fully reopen the economy, a date that hinges on vaccine availability and hospitalization rates. Community members are urged to support reopening efforts by scheduling an appointment as soon as possible. Sign up today at MyTurn.ca.gov.

Today the California Department of Public Health announced that Humboldt County will remain in the “Orange” or Moderate tier with an adjusted case rate of 2 and a positivity rate of 1.1%.

Also today, the state updated its Activity & Business Tiers Chart to allow increased capacity limits in facilities for guests who have been tested or are fully vaccinated. This includes concerts, weddings and receptions, private meetings and more. These changes take effect this week with required mitigation measures in place.

Please see the updated guidance here: cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Dimmer-Framework-September_2020.pdf.


View the Humboldt County Data Dashboard online at humboldtgov.org/dashboard, or go to humboldtgov.org/DashboardArchives to download today’s data.

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or by contacting covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.

Some Safeway, CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, Walgreen’s and Walmart locations are offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Learn who is eligible for vaccination and see if there are appointments available at one of these locations by clicking on the links below.
Safeway: mhealthappointments.com/covidappt
CVS Pharmacy: cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine?icid=cvs-home-hero1-link2-coronavirus-vaccine
Rite Aid: https://www.riteaid.com/covid-19
Walgreen’s: walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19
Walmart: walmart.com/cp/1228302

Sign up for COVID-19 vaccination: MyTurn.ca.gov
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

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