HumCo Records 100th COVID Death, 35 New Cases Confirmed

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Humboldt County surpassed 100 COVID-19 deaths today, after the county confirmed three more residents have died of the virus, while also reporting 35 new cases and two new hospitalizations.

The three residents who died were all over the age of 80, and bring the county's pandemic death toll to 101.

The county also reported today that 958 additional residents have become fully vaccinated over the past week, and that 65 percent of the vaccine-eligible population is now fully vaccinated locally, with a total of 72 percent having received at least one dose.

The new cases — which come on the heels of 243 confirmed last week and make 170 so far this week — come after laboratories processed 311 samples with a test-positivity rate of 11.3 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 and 15.2 percent in September, far outpacing state (2.5 percent) and national (6.3 percent) rates. Through the first five days of October, Humboldt's test-positivity rate sits at 15.2 percent.

A state database shows 18 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, with six under intensive care. The local hospital census peaked Sept. 3 with 42 COVID-19 patients.

Public Health offered new data Friday on so-called breakthrough cases of fully vaccinated individuals, noting that one of the five deaths and two of the 14 hospitalizations recorded over the previous week were in fully vaccinated people.

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 eight new cases daily per 100,000 in population, unvaccinated residents accounted for an average of 34 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.

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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.

Eureka — Friday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Agricultural Building (5630 S. Broadway St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Hoopa — Saturday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hoopa High School (101 Loop Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

McKinleyville — Sunday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
McKinleyville High School (1300 Murray Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Oct. 12, 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

Garberville — Wednesday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health (727 Cedar St.) 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 8,765, with 401 hospitalizations and 101 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 and 15.2 percent in September.

Nationwide, more than 43.8 million cases have been confirmed with 704,223 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.5 million cases and 69,184 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.
Oct. 6, 2021 - Local COVID-19 Deaths Top 100 After 3 Reported Today
Humboldt County Public Health has reported the deaths of three residents over the age of 80 from COVID-19. One hundred one local residents have died from the virus. The staff of the Department Operations Center share their condolences with friends, family and caregivers of those who died.

Thirty-five new cases have been reported in the county today, bringing to 8,765 the total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus. Two hospitalizations were also reported, including one person in their 40s and one person in their 60s.

As of Tuesday, Humboldt County Public Health and other local vaccinators have administered a total of 155,473 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. An additional 958 residents have been fully vaccinated since the last weekly report on Sept. 29. A total of 77,688, or slightly more than 65% of the vaccine-eligible population age 12 and older, are fully vaccinated. Just over 72% of the vaccine-eligible population has received at least one dose.

Johnson & Johnson announced yesterday that it is seeking authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine for booster shots. The FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet Oct. 14 and 15, to consider requests from Johnson & Johnson as well as Moderna, which submitted initial data in support of boosters to the FDA on Sept. 1. At the same meeting, the committee will discuss data on using a booster dose different from the one used in the primary series, or so-called “mixing and matching” of vaccine brands. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

Given the level of COVID-19 transmission in the community, residents — particularly unvaccinated individuals — 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 at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka and at mobile testing sites throughout the county most weekdays. To make an appointment, visit lhi.care/covidtesting or call 888-634-1123. Turnaround times for test results through OptumServe average two to three days.

Vaccination and testing services are available free of charge in Humboldt County. All eligible residents are encouraged to get vaccinated against the virus as the most effective way to prevent hospitalization or death.

Appointments for Public Health vaccination clinics are not required but are now strongly recommended due to a recent increase in demand for additional doses and boosters. 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:

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

Eureka — Friday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Agriculture Building (5630 S. Broadway)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Hoopa — Saturday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hoopa High School (101 Loop Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

McKinleyville — Sunday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
McKinleyville High School (1300 Murray Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Oct. 12, 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

Garberville — Wednesday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health (727 Cedar St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Check availability of a specific vaccine at local pharmacies at vaccines.gov, or text a ZIP code to 438829 to locate a nearby pharmacy offering vaccines.

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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