A 98th HumCo Resident Dies of COVID-19

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PUBLIC HEALTH
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A 98th Humboldt County resident has died of COVID-19, Public Health reported today, while also confirming 54 new cases of the virus and two new hospitalizations.

A state database shows 29 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, with five under intensive care. The local hospital census peaked Sept. 3 with 42 COVID-19 patients, then steadily declined over the next couple weeks before creeping back up over the past week.

In today's press release, the county notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued ah health advisory yesterday strongly urging pregnant women to get vaccinated due to an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

"Of the more than 125,000 cases reported in pregnant people in the U.S., more than 22,000 were hospitalized and 161 have died," the press release states. "In the month of August alone, 22 COVID-related deaths of pregnant people were recorded, the highest number in a single month since the pandemic began.  COVID-19 infection also increases the risk of adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. As of mid-Sept, only 31 percent of pregnant people were fully vaccinated before or during their pregnancy."

Today's cases — which come after 259 were confirmed last week — were reported after laboratories processed 307 samples with a test-positivity rate of 17.6 percent. After recording a test-positivity rate of 10.1 percent in July — the highest for any month since the pandemic began — the rate in Humboldt County jumped to 15.9 percent in August. Through the first 30 days of September, it sits at 15.2 percent, far outpacing state (3.1 percent) and national (8.1 percent) rates.

Due to the high rates of local transmission, Health Officer Ian Hoffman today issued a statement recommending physical distancing in all public meetings and urging virtual alternatives, where possible.
With case rates high locally, Public Health continues to encourage people to get vaccinated, saying "health officials overwhelmingly agree that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent severe outcomes." Of the 12 people hospitalized over a recent even-day period, only one was vaccinated, according to Public Health.

According to the county's dashboard, 56 percent of the local population is now fully vaccinated, including nearly 65 percent of those 12 and older. Nearly 72 percent of the eligible population has now received at least one vaccine dose, according to Public Health.

Public Health reported Friday that the seven-day average of new cases confirmed per 100,000 residents showed that while fully vaccinated residents accounted for about 10 new cases daily per 100,000 in population, unvaccinated residents accounted for an average of 46 new daily cases per 100,000 residents. Further, the county reported Friday that of the 12 local residents who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 over the prior seven days, 11 were unvaccinated.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently published a study indicating unvaccinated individuals are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 and 10 times more likely to be hospitalized than their fully vaccinated counterparts.

Friday, the CDC recommended Pfizer booster doses for certain at-risk groups, including people 65 and older, others with certain underlying medical conditions and those at "increased risk for COVID-19 exposure" due to their occupational or instructional settings. (Read more about booster doses in the press release below.)

Earlier this month, Humboldt County Health Officer Ian Hoffman announced that due to staffing limitations, Public Health will shift its resources away from communitywide contact tracing to places with the most vulnerable populations and with greater ability to control the spread of the virus through vaccination, masking, distancing and ventilation, including schools, long-term care facilities, shelters and other congregate living settings.

National, state and local health officials advise that vaccination remains incredibly safe and effective protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COIVD-19, and the county has a host of no-cost clinics scheduled over the next week.

Trinidad — Thursday, Sept. 30, 4 to 7 p.m.
Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Garberville — Friday, Oct. 1, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Garberville Farmers’ Market (Garberville Town Square.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Arcata — Saturday, Oct. 2, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Arcata Farmers’ Market (Arcata Plaza/808 G St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Monday, Oct. 4, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health (529 I St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
Testing NOT available

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Oct. 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health (77 Walnut Way) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Thursday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
College of the Redwoods main parking lot (7351 Tompkins Hill Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

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.

Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 8,555, with 392 hospitalizations and 98 COVID-19 related deaths.

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 before jumping to 15.9 percent in August. Through the first 30 days of September, it sits at 15.2 percent.

Nationwide, more than 43.1 million cases have been confirmed with 691,517 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.4 million cases and 68,517 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 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 JIC's report below.

Sept. 30, 2021 - 1 Death, 2 Hospitalizations, 54 New Cases Reported
Humboldt County Public Health has reported the death of resident in their 70s from COVID-19. The staff of the Department Operations Center extend their sympathies to the person’s friends, loved ones and caregivers.

Two hospitalizations have also been reported, including a person in their 30s and one over the age of 80. Fifty-four new cases of COVID-19 were reported today, bringing the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus to 8,555.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory yesterday strongly urging those who are pregnant or were recently pregnant to get vaccinated because of increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Of the more than 125,000 cases reported in pregnant people in the U.S., more than 22,000 were hospitalized and 161 have died. In the month of August alone, 22 COVID-related deaths of pregnant people were recorded, the highest number in a single month since the pandemic began.

COVID-19 infection also increases the risk of adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. As of mid-Sept, only 31% of pregnant people were fully vaccinated before or during their pregnancy. The CDC also advises vaccination for those who are lactating, who are trying to become pregnant now or who might become pregnant in the future. Pregnant people should continue to follow all recommended prevention measures and should seek care immediately for any symptoms of COVID-19. For more information, consult a health care provider or visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnant-people.html.

Due to the continued high transmission of COVID-19 locally, Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hoffman issued a statement today recommending physical distancing at meetings including those of legislative bodies. Virtual meetings that allow virtual participation of agency staff, presenters and community members are a safer alternative. Physical distancing is also recommended for gatherings and events. Visit humboldtgov.org/COVIDFAQs to read the full statement on physical distancing.

Residents are urged to get tested if they are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. No-cost testing is available through OptumServe seven days a week in Eureka at the Wharfinger Building on the lower floor and at mobile testing sites throughout the county Monday through Friday. To make an appointment or get information about results, visit lhi.care/covidtesting or call 888-634-1123.

Rapid testing and PCR testing are available at Public Health mobile vaccination clinics, where residents have the option of getting tested, vaccinated or both. As always, testing and vaccination services are free of charge. Due to an increase in demand for additional vaccine doses and boosters, appointments at Public Health vaccination clinics are strongly recommended but not required. Sign up in advance at MyTurn.ca.gov. For instructions in English and Spanish on how to use My Turn, go to humboldtgov.org/VaccineInfo.

See the schedule below for specific clinic dates, times, locations and available services:

Garberville — Friday, Oct. 1, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Garberville Farmers’ Market (Garberville Town Square)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Arcata — Saturday, Oct. 2, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Arcata Farmers’ Market (Arcata Plaza/808 G St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Monday, Oct. 4, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Main (529 I St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
Testing NOT available

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Oct. 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Office (77 Walnut Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Thursday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
College of the Redwoods main parking lot (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

To check availability of a specific vaccine at a local pharmacy, visit vaccines.gov or text a ZIP code to 438829.

Pfizer is authorized for those 12 and older, and Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people age 18 and older. County residents age 16 and 17 can receive a vaccination at Public Health clinics without a parent or guardian physically present as long as they have a signed consent form. Children under 16 still must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.

View the Data Dashboard online at humboldtgov.org/dashboard, or go to humboldtgov.org/DashboardArchives to download data from a previous time.

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.

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
Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert
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