Public Health Confirms 24 New COVID-19 Cases, New Hospitalization

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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.
Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 24 new COVID-19 cases today — making 116 so far this week — along with one new hospitalization.

Today's cases — which come on the heels of 204 confirmed last week — come after laboratories processed 133 samples with a test-positivity rate of 18 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. In October, it dipped to 12.1 percent and, through the first 17 days of the month, it sits at 14.3 percent in November, still far outpacing those of the state (2 percent) and nation (5.4 percent).

Public Health also reported today that local vaccinators have administered 1,203 doses of vaccine over the past week, with 520 residents having newly become fully vaccinated.

New countywide masking and quarantine orders, meanwhile, went into effect Nov. 8.

Earlier this month, the county issued a provider alert warning that the greater Fortuna area is seeing case rates higher than those of the rest of the county, while its vaccination rates continue to trail those of other parts of the county, as well.

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

The Food and Drug Administration recently authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use for children 5 to 11 years old and local pharmacies and pediatricians have begun making appointments, while Public Health announced it will hold several pediatric and family vaccination clinics — with the first pediatric clinic scheduled tomorrow in Eureka — for children ages 5 to 11. Appointments will be required and can be made on the state’s www.MyTurn.ca.gov vaccination portal. Boosters will not be available at these clinics.

"Pediatric clinics will offer vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 only. Family clinics give priority to children ages 5 to 11, but parents and guardians of children who are getting vaccinated can receive any dose of the COVID-19 vaccine," a news release states. "Due to a sharp increase in demand, walk-ins are not allowed at family and pediatric clinics for children ages 5 to 11 at this time."

Public Health also reported recently that health officials are urging all eligible residents to get COVID-19 booster shots after federal regulators accepted recommendations recently to expand booster options to Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. (For more information on who is booster eligible, click here.)

Moderna boosters can be administered to those 65 years and older, those residing in long-term care facilities, people 50 and older with underlying medical conditions putting at them of increased risk and those at increased risk of exposure and transmission due to high-risk work setting, who received their initial vaccination six months or more ago. All residents age 18 and older who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine can receive a booster dose if at has been at least two months since their initial dose.

Public Health reported Friday that Humboldt's seven-day average case rate is currently at 14, meaning that for every 100,000 residents, 14 residents tested positive for the virus daily over the last seven days but varies by vaccination status.

case_rate_graf.jpg

The current seven-day average case rate for fully vaccinated individuals is 13 per 100,000 residents per day, while the average daily case rate for unvaccinated individuals is 16 per 100,000 residents. View a more detailed depiction of the case rate graph here.

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.

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, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Arcata Transit Center (925 E St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available

Trinidad — Thursday, Nov. 18, 4 to 7 p.m.
Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna PCR and rapid testing available

Petrolia — Friday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Mattole Resource Center (167 Sherman St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna PCR and rapid testing available
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Honeydew Family Clinic — Friday, Nov. 19, 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.
Honeydew Elementary School (1 Wilder Ridge Road)
Ages 5-18 and family members.
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna PCR and rapid testing available
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Arcata Family Clinic – Saturday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Arcata High School (1720 M St.)
Ages 5-18 and family members.
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna PCR and rapid testing available
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Redway – Sunday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to noon
Redwoods Rural Health Center (101 W Coast Rd.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Miranda Family Clinic – Sunday, Nov. 21, from 2 to 5 p.m.
South Fork High School (6831 Avenue of the Giants)
Ages 5-18 and family members.
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna PCR and rapid testing available
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Eureka — Monday, Nov. 22, 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
Appointment required. No testing available
$25 gift card for adults receiving a first or second dose
Appointments required

Eureka Pediatric Clinic — Tuesday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 5 to 11. Pfizer only.
Appointment required. No testing available.

Today's confirmed cases bring the county's total to 9,769 with 441 hospitalizations and 117 COVID-19 related deaths.

Nationwide, more than 47.2 million cases have been confirmed with 762,994 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of those, 4.7 million cases and 72,718 related deaths have been confirmed in California, according to the Department of Public Health.

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 before dipping to 12.3 percent last month.

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.

Nov. 17, 2021 - 1 Hospitalization, 24 New Cases Reported
Humboldt County Public Health reported today 24 new cases of COVID-19, bringing to 9,769 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. One hospitalization of a resident in their 30s was also reported.

To strengthen immunity against COVID-19 heading into the winter months and holidays, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is encouraging all eligible Californians — from young children to grandparents — to get vaccinated or get boosters.

CDPH is working to update its vaccination appointment portal My Turn to broaden booster availability at vaccination clinics for all adults in the state. The changes to My Turn are expected to be completed this week.

The move follows the recently updated state guidance that recommends boosters for all adults aged 18 and older — as long as it’s been at least six months since their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months since their Johnson & Johnson shot.

As of Tuesday, Public Health and other local vaccinators have administered a total of 161,109 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, 1,203 vaccine doses have been administered, and 520 additional residents have completed their vaccine series.
A total of 80,761 residents, or approximately 68% of the county’s population aged 12 and older, are fully vaccinated. About 7,800 residents, or 6% of the population aged 12 and older, are partially vaccinated as of Tuesday.
Public Health officials continue to stress that vaccination is one of the best tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic and completion of the vaccine series offers the highest protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death.

Humboldt County’s vaccination and testing services are available free of charge. Although walk-ins are allowed at most regular Public Health clinics and many pharmacy vaccination sites, a sharp increase in demand for boosters has caused delays at some locations. As a result, appointments are required for pediatric clinics and for clinics at Public Health’s main office. Appointments are strongly recommended for all other clinics and are the best way to ensure a shot is available during your visit. Appointments can be made on the state’s MyTurn.ca.gov vaccination portal.

Vaccines, including boosters, are widely available at local pharmacies. To check the availability of a specific vaccine, visit the vaccines.gov page, or text a ZIP code to 438829 to locate a nearby pharmacy offering vaccines.

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

Arcata – Thursday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Arcata Transit Center (925 E St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Trinidad — Thursday, Nov. 18, 4 to 7 p.m.
Trinidad Town Hall (409 Trinity St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Petrolia — Friday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Mattole Resource Center (167 Sherman St.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Honeydew Family Clinic — Friday, Nov. 19, 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.
Honeydew Elementary School (1 Wilder Ridge Road)
Ages 5-18 and family members
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Arcata Family Clinic – Saturday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Arcata High School (1720 M St.)
Ages 5-18 and family members
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Redway – Sunday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to noon
Redwoods Rural Health Center (101 W Coast Rd.)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Miranda Family Clinic – Sunday, Nov. 21, from 2 to 5 p.m.
South Fork High School (6831 Avenue of the Giants)
Ages 5-18 and family members
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
PCR and rapid testing available
Appointments strongly recommended

Eureka — Monday, Nov. 22, 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
Appointment required. No testing available
$25 gift card for adults receiving a first or second dose
Appointments required

Eureka Pediatric Clinic — Tuesday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
Ages 5 to 11. Pfizer only.
Appointment required. No testing available.

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 1-707-441-5000.

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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