County Confirms 41st COVID Death, 18 New Cases, Three New Hospitalizations


Humboldt County Public Health confirmed Humboldt County's 41st COVID-19 related death — a resident in their 70s — today, as well as 18 new cases and three new hospitalizations.

The cases were reported after laboratories processed 243 samples with a test-positivity rate of 7.4 percent, pushing the county past another grim pandemic milestone to a cumulative case total of 4,002. A total of 67 cases have been confirmed so far this week, following 86 last week and a combined 267 the two prior weeks.

Officials are pointing to the local presence of the B.1.1.7 variant as a reason for the recentsurge in cases, with Public Health reporting Friday that genomic sequencing has identified more than 40 local cases of the variant, which is associated with a 50 percent increase in transmission and more severe illness.

According to a state database, seven people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including four receiving intensive care.

Public Health reported today that the county has now administered more than 107,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 55 percent of residents ages 16 and older having received at least one dose and 44 percent of those eligible now fully vaccinated.

Health officials continue to urge Humboldt residents to get tested, with more screening sites opened throughout the region.

Public Health also reported last week that it has requested 6,600 vaccine doses next week through Blue Shield, the state's third-party administrator, though there is no guarantee it will receive all of them. Residents needing to schedule a first or second dose appointment are encouraged to sign up through

The state of California updated its COVID-19 risk tiers yesterday and, despite escalating case rates, kept Humboldt County in the "moderate" or orange tier it entered last 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 4.2 percent (down from 7.4 percent last week) and a daily case rate of eight per 100,000 compared to the prior week's 12.8. California overall, meanwhile, reports a 1.2 percent test-positivity rate and 3.7 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.) Today, the county announced it will no longer be certifying event plans, but urged organizers to follow safety measures and contact local jurisdictions with questions. (Read more in the press release at the bottom of this post.)

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 4,002 cases, with 170 hospitalizations and 41 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 3,823 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, it then jumped to 7 percent.

Nationwide, more than 32.6 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 580,073 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, more than 3.6 million cases have been confirmed with 61,305 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 and other newly opened screening site information can be found here

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 release below:

May 12, 2021 - 1 Death, 18 New Cases Reported Today

707-441-5000 ; ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
A Humboldt County resident has died with COVID-19, and 18 additional cases of the virus were reported today. A total of 4,002 county residents have tested positive.

The person who died was in their 70s. Staff in the Emergency Operations Center and at Public Health extend their condolences to the individual’s friends, family and loved ones.

County Tops 100,000 Vaccine Doses Administered
Humboldt County Public Health and other approved local vaccinators have administered 107,228 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Local vaccination data on the Data Dashboard has been updated. Some highlights include:

55.4% of Humboldt County residents ages 16 and older who currently qualify for vaccination have received at least one vaccine dose, meaning they have some protection against the virus. 45.8% of the county’s total population have received at least one dose.
44.1% of residents ages 16 and older and 36.5% of the total population are fully vaccinated.
18.1% of county residents in the 16-19 age group are fully vaccinated, an increase of more than 10% from the previous week and the largest weekly increase of any age group.
View the latest updates at To view vaccine data only, go to

Public Health No Longer Certifying Event Plans;
Organizers Should Still Follow Safety Measures
As more of the state reopens, Public Health will no longer certify private or public event plans. Event organizers and attendees should continue to follow the state’s industry guidance under the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.”

Anyone with questions about planning events can contact their local jurisdiction:

City of Eureka: or 707-441-4178
City of Fortuna: or 707-725-1455
City of Blue Lake: or 707-668-5655
City of Rio Dell: or 707-764-3532
City of Trinidad: or 707-677-0223
City of Arcata: or 707-822-7091
City of Ferndale: or 707-496-7005
Unincorporated areas: or call 707-441-5000.
Businesses should still file Business Reopening Plans with the Humboldt County Office of Economic Development. For more information, visit

View the Humboldt County Data Dashboard online at, or go to to download today’s data.

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit or Local information is available at or by contacting or calling 707-441-5000.

Sign up for COVID-19 vaccination:
Check for vaccine availability at a local pharmacy:
Local COVID-19 vaccine information:
Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard:
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Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19
Humboldt Health Alert:


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