Public Health Confirms 19 New COVID-19 Cases, Making 137 This week

By

comment
Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 19 new COVID-19 cases today — making 137 for the week, the highest tally since the first week in February — while also reporting one new hospitalization.

Today's cases were reported after laboratories processed 313 samples with a test-positivity rate of 6 percent, bringing the county's cumulative case count to 3,852.

Public Health also reported today that it will receive 6,360 doses of vaccine next week — 3,894 of Pfizer, 2,116 of Moderna and 350 of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson. Of those, Public Health plans to administer more than 4,900 doses at second-dose mass vaccination clinics next week. That leaves about 1,100 for first doses, in addition to the 350 Johnson & Johnson doses.

Yesterday, the county reported that nearly a third of eligible residents are now fully vaccinated.

Tuesday, Public Health reported that the federal government had confirmed a positive local case of the UK variant of COVID-19, which has proven to be more contagious than other varieties. Humboldt County Health Officer Ian Hoffman said at a press conference yesterday that officials suspect the variant played a role in the super-spreader event that has led to the recent surge in local cases, which Public Health announced today has also led to 17 hospitalizations over the past week.

The 130 new cases confirmed last week were up from 71 the prior week, which itself was a doubling of the week before. And as case counts have risen in recent weeks, so has the county's test-positivity rate.

Public Health urges all residents who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms to get tested, with a wide variety of no-cost options.

Next week, the county will hold vaccination clinics in Arcata and Fortuna, with Arcata's clinics held at the Arcata Community Center on Friday, Saturday and  Sunday, with walk-ins welcome from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Appointments are encouraged to reduce wait times.) Fortuna's clinic, meanwhile, will be held Saturday at Fortuna High School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Those wanting a vaccine can also register online through www.myturn.ca.gov.

The state of California, meanwhile, updated its COVID-19 risk tiers Tuesday, keeping Humboldt County in the "moderate" or orange tier it entered earlier this month, 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 state data showed that Humboldt County has a test positive rate of 3.1 percent (compared to 2.3 percent last week) and a daily case rate of 5.9 per 100,000 compared to the prior week's 4.7. California overall, meanwhile, reports a 1.5 percent test-positivity rate and 4.7 cases per 100,000.

On 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 3,852 cases, with 161 hospitalizations and 38 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 3,631 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. Since then, it has jumped to more than 7 percent.

Nationwide, more than 32 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 572,190 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, more than 3.6 million cases have been confirmed with 60,467 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 30, 2021 - 19 New Cases Reported Today; County to Receive 6,360 Vaccine Doses for Next Week

707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
A total of 3,852 Humboldt County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after 19 new cases were reported today.

Humboldt County next week will receive 6,360 COVID-19 vaccine doses — 3,894 Pfizer, 2,116 Moderna and 350 Johnson & Johnson. Of those, Humboldt County Public Health will administer more than 4,900 doses at second-dose mass vaccination clinics scheduled for next week, and the remainder will be distributed to other approved local vaccinators.

The federal government will distribute more vaccine doses to pharmacies than to states next week. County residents can go to VaccineFinder.org to search for available appointments at all participating local pharmacies. Please note that the website’s search function defaults to a 25-mile radius. To view more local options, expand the search to 50 miles when prompted to enter a ZIP code.

First-dose mass vaccination clinics are scheduled today through Sunday and are offering the Pfizer vaccine, which is the only vaccine approved for 16- and 17-year-olds. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and provide proof of age. Appointments are encouraged but not required.

Sign up through MyTurn.ca.gov for one of the Pfizer clinics listed below:

Arcata Community Center (321 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway)
Friday, April 30 – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 1 – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, May 2 – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fortuna High School (379 12th St.)
Saturday, May 1 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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. 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
Vaccine Finder: VaccineFinder.org
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