47th Humboldt Resident Dies of COVID-19, 9 New Cases, 2 More Hospitalizations

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Humboldt County Public Health reported today that another local resident has died of COVID-19 as well as two new hospitalizations, a resident in their 60s and another in their 80s. None were vaccinated.

The person who died was in their 60s.

Nine new cases were also confirmed after laboratories processed 167 samples with a test-positivity rate of 5.4 percent. According to a state database, seven people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including two under intensive care.

Today marked the last day of  California's “Blueprint for a Safer Economy," with the state reporting Humboldt County’s final adjusted case rate as 5.1 per 100,000 residents and positivity rate as 5 percent.

Meanwhile, Public Health vaccinations clinics are scheduled in Samoa, Eureka and Arcata this week. All will include the Pfizer vaccine, which is the only one authorized for those 12 to 17.

Clinic schedule:

Samoa – Wednesday, June 16 – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Samoa Women’s Club (115 Rideout Ave.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Thursday, June 17 – 2 to 6 p.m. College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Arcata – Saturday, June 19 – 5 to 7:30 p.m. Arcata Ballpark/Humboldt Crabs game (888 F St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson (Free admission to the game for those who get their shots at the clinic.)

To make an appointment in advance or view additional vaccination opportunities and to request help with transportation, visit www.vaccines.gov or www.myturn.ca.gov.

To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 4,442 cases, one was removed after being found to be a duplicate, with 199 hospitalizations and 47 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 4,306 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 before inching back up to 5.9 percent in April. In May, it jumped to 8.3 percent.

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 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:

A Humboldt County resident in their 60s has died with COVID-19. Humboldt County Public Health and the Emergency Operations Center extend their sympathies to the person’s friends, loved ones and all who are mourning the loss. Nine additional cases of the virus were recorded today, and one previously reported case was determined to be a duplicate and removed. A total of 4,442 county residents have tested positive for the virus.

Two new hospitalizations also were reported today, one resident in their 60s and another over the age of 80.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today retired the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” CDPH reported Humboldt County’s final adjusted case rate as 5.1 per 100,000 residents and positivity rate as 5%. To reflect changes made by the state, the “Community Risk Level” section of the Humboldt County Data Dashboard — including adjusted case rate and positivity rate — has been removed.

Public Health has scheduled clinics this week in Samoa, Eureka and Arcata. Walk-ins are welcome at all Public Health clinics. To make an appointment in advance or view additional vaccination opportunities, go to MyTurn.ca.gov. See the schedule of Public Health clinics below. Samoa – Wednesday, June 16 – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Samoa Women’s Club (115 Rideout Ave.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson Eureka – Thursday, June 17 – 2 to 6 p.m. College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson Arcata – Saturday, June 19 – 5 to 7:30 p.m. Arcata Ball Park/Humboldt Crabs game (888 F St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson *Free admission to Saturday’s game for those who get vaccinated at this clinic.

The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people age 12 and older, and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized for people 18 and older.

A parent or guardian must accompany minor children to the clinic. Minor consent forms are available online in English and Spanish and may be printed and filled out for each minor child before coming to the clinic. English: humboldtgov.org/MinorConsentEnglish Español: humboldtgov.org/MinorConsentEspanol

COVID-19 vaccine is also available at many local pharmacies. Check availability at vaccines.gov, or text a ZIP code to 438829 to find a participating pharmacy nearby. Most pharmacies allow walk-ins. 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.

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