to get a new case count out yesterday due to spiking numbers and dipping staffing levels, Humboldt County Public Health reported this morning that it confirmed 124 new COVID-19 cases between Friday and Monday, with four new hospitalizations, including two people in their 40s.
The new cases were reported after laboratories processed 1,263 samples with a test-positivity rate of 9.8 percent, and come after the county confirmed 217 new cases last week.
"Since the last weekly update on July 26, Humboldt County has seen 260 new cases of COVID-19," the report states. "Nine county residents have been hospitalized in the last week."
According to a state database
, 20 people remain hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including seven under intensive care.
The local case news comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released
new data Friday indicating the Delta variant is highly transmittable, even among fully vaccinated people. While data indicates the vaccines remain highly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death, the CDC warns that it leads to very high viral loads even among vaccinated, mildly symptomatic people, meaning they can still easily transmit the virus to others.
Thursday, the Humboldt County Administrative Office announced
that as of tomorrow facial coverings will be required in all county facilities, warning the current surge in cases poses a "real threat" to the county's ability to provide vital services.
Days after Humboldt County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated
their mask guidance, the California Department of Public Health followed suit in recommending that everyone — regardless of vaccination status – wear a mask while indoors in public spaces for regions with high levels of virus transmission, which includes Humboldt County. According to the CDC, more than 90 percent of California residents are in areas of high or substantial transmission, including Humboldt.
The recommendation to continue masking comes after the increased spread of the Delta variant, which is more contagious than other COVID-19 varieties and can result in more severe illness. The Delta variant now accounts for nearly 85 percent of new infections nationally. Earlier this week, Public Health reported that the Delta variant was found in 25 percent of samples that underwent genomic sequencing last month.
Public Health is urging residents to help limit the spread of the virus by wearing masks indoors in public, participating in contact tracing efforts and getting vaccinated.
According to the release, Public Health is prioritizing contact tracing investigations based on risk due to the surge in local COVID cases. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is urged to assist contact investigators in quickly identifying their close contacts, defined as those who have been within six feet for 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period.
Public Health is urging residents who have yet to do so to get their COVID-19 vaccines, as it is the only protection against severe illness and death from the virus. This week's Public Health vaccine clinics include Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson doses. The full schedule includes:
Fields Landing – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Fields Landing Boat Ramp (End of Railroad Ave., South Humboldt Bay) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
King Salmon – Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Eureka – Thursday, Aug. 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Gills by the Bay (77 Halibut Ave.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
McKinleyville – Friday, Aug. 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Six Rivers Brewery (1300 Central Ave.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
McKinleyville – Friday, Aug. 6, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Dollar General (1180 Murray Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
Eureka – Saturday, Aug. 7, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
North Coast Stand Down (Veterans Memorial Building, 1018 H St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
Blue Lake – Sunday, Aug. 8, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Blue Lake Resource Center (111 Greenwood Ave.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
To make an appointment in advance or view additional vaccination opportunities and to request help with transportation, visit www.vaccines.gov
As of Friday, Humboldt County had confirmed
5,238 cases, with 237 hospitalizations and 53
confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.
The county dashboard listed 4,801 cases as having been "cleared," though that just means they are no longer considered active 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 but fell back to 5.9 percent in June. In July, it rose to 10.1 percent — the highest at any point in the pandemic.
Nationwide, more than 35.1 million cases have been confirmed with 611,791 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
. Of those, 3.8 million cases and 64,096 related deaths have been confirmed in California, according to the Department of Public Health
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at email@example.com 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 JIC release below:
Aug. 3, 2021 - 124 New Cases Reported from Friday to Monday
A total of 5,238 Humboldt County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after 124 cases were reported in the time from the most recent report Friday through Monday. Four county residents were newly hospitalized in that time, two people in their 40s, one in their 60s and one in their 70s.
Since the last weekly update on July 26, Humboldt County has seen 260 new cases of COVID-19. Nine county residents have been hospitalized in the last week. Their age ranges are as follows:
3 people in their 40s
2 people in their 60s
3 people in their 70s
1 person over the age of 80.
Daily, weekly and monthly datasets on the Humboldt County Data Dashboard have been updated. View the Dashboard online at humboldtgov.org/dashboard, or go to humboldtgov.org/DashboardArchives to download the latest 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 707-441-5000.
Sign up for COVID-19 vaccination: MyTurn.ca.gov
Check for vaccine availability at a local pharmacy: Vaccines.gov
Local COVID-19 vaccine information: humboldtgov.org/VaccineInfo
Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/Dashboard
Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert