Two More HumCo Residents Die of COVID-19

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Humboldt County Public Health Microbiologist Annayal Yikum prepares patient samples for the COVID-19 testing process. - SUBMITTED
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  • Humboldt County Public Health Microbiologist Annayal Yikum prepares patient samples for the COVID-19 testing process.

Two more Humboldt County residents have died of COVID-19, Public Health reported today, while confirming 48 new cases of the virus.

The county has now recorded 10 COVID-19 deaths to date in October, after 23 in September and 22 in August. The local death toll now stands at 108.

The new cases come after laboratories processed 290 samples with a test-positivity rate of 16.6 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 and 15.2 percent in September. Through the first 13 days of October, it stands at 14 percent.

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

According to the county's dashboard, 58 percent of the local population is now fully vaccinated, with nearly 72 percent of those 12 and older having received at least one dose. Since Oct. 6, 886 additional vaccine doses have been administered locally with 548 additional residents becoming fully vaccinated.

Public Health reported last week 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 42 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently published a s tudy 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.

Last week, 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.

Last 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.

Arcata — Thursday, Oct. 14, 4 to 6 p.m.
Arcata High School (1720 M St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Friday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Miranda — Saturday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
South Fork High School (6831 Avenue of the Giants)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Sunday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
College of the Redwoods (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Monday, Oct. 18, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
No testing available

Weitchpec — Tuesday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Yurok Tribal Office (CA-96)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Oct. 19, 3 to 5 p.m.
Public Health Office (77 Walnut Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Garberville — Wednesday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Office (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 8,985, with 409 hospitalizations and 108 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 44.5 million cases have been confirmed with 716,370 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.5 million cases and 69,862 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. 13, 2021 - 2 Deaths, 0 Hospitalizations, 48 New Cases Reported Today
Humboldt County Public Health reported two deaths from COVID-19 today, one person in their 70s and one person over the age of 80. One hundred and eight county residents have died from the virus. Staff in the Department Operations Center extend their condolences to the family, friends and caregivers of those who died.

Forty-eight new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Humboldt County today, bringing to 8,985 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. No new hospitalizations were reported today.

As of Tuesday, Humboldt County Public Health and other local vaccinators have administered a total of 156,359 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Local vaccination data has been updated on the Humboldt County Data Dashboard (humboldtgov.org/dashboard). Highlights include:

Since the last weekly report on Oct. 6, 886 vaccine doses have been administered and 548 additional residents have completed their vaccine series.
A total of 78,236 residents, or nearly 66% 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.
Humboldt County continues to be designated as an area of high COVID-19 transmission by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Residents — particularly those who are unvaccinated — 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. Mobile testing sites are scheduled throughout the county most weekdays. For more information about testing, go to humboldtgov.org/covidtestregistration.

The county’s vaccination and testing services are available free of charge. Appointments for Public Health vaccination clinics are not required but are recommended due to an 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.

Due to high demand for vaccination appointments, hours for the Arcata High School vaccination clinic on Thursday have been expanded, and the clinic will now be open from 4 to 7 p.m.

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

Arcata — Thursday, Oct. 14, 4 to 7 p.m.
Arcata High School (1720 M St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Friday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
No testing available at this clinic. PCR testing offered through OptumServe on lower floor of Wharfinger Building.

Miranda — Saturday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
South Fork High School (6831 Avenue of the Giants)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Sunday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
College of the Redwoods (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Monday, Oct. 18, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
No testing available

Weitchpec — Tuesday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Yurok Tribal Office (CA-96)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Oct. 19, 3 to 5 p.m.
Public Health Office (77 Walnut Way)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Garberville — Wednesday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Office (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 a Public Health clinic 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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