Humboldt County Public Health reported four new COVID-19 cases today and two new hospitalizations.The cases were confirmed after laboratories processed 167 samples with a test-positivity rate of 2.4 percent.
According to a state database, five people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including two under intensive care.
The county also reported that the state has updated its guidance on masking in the workplace in advance of the dropping of most state COVID-19 restrictions on June 15.
“The state of California announced that it plans to align its masking guidance with that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 15,” the press release states. “The guidance allows for fully vaccinated people to go unmasked in most public settings, with the exception of health care settings, indoor youth settings, homeless and emergency shelters, public transit and correctional facilities.
“The CDC guidance still requires unvaccinated individuals to mask in indoor public settings and businesses as well as in outdoor settings when around people who are unvaccinated and not part of their household,” the release continues. “Unvaccinated people of the same household who gather outdoors with fully vaccinated people who are not part of their household will not need to mask.”
Tuesday, the county Joint Information Center noted that of those who have fallen critically ill or died in Humboldt County, none was vaccinated.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 192 people have been hospitalized and 46 local residents have died,” a press release stated. “None of them were vaccinated.”
Public Health also reported yesterday that 48.6 percent of Humboldt County residents age 12 and older have now been fully vaccinated, and that 58.3 percent of eligible residents have received at least one dose.
In a press conference yesterday, Health Officer Ian Hoffman noted that two COVID-19 variants — B.1.1.7 and P1 — are now the predominant strains of the virus locally.
Public Health is continuing to urge residents to get vaccinated, with clinics scheduled this week at College of the Redwoods in Eureka on Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Although walk-ins are welcome at Public Health clinics, appointments are highly encouraged. To make an appointment at a clinic or pharmacy, and to request help with transportation, visit www.vaccines.gov or www.myturn.ca.gov.
Public Health also reported last week that the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health approved revisions yesterday to its workplace safety regulations, which apply to most workers in the state. The requirements generally allow workers who are fully vaccinated to work unmasked in settings where everyone else in the workplace is vaccinated and symptom free. They also lift physical distancing requirements in indoor settings after July 31, but require employers to make N95 masks available to any unvaccinated employees.
When the state updated its COVID-19 risk tiers for the last time Tuesday, it kept Humboldt County in its orange “moderate” tier, allowing local businesses to operate as they have since April until the state eases most restrictions June 15. According to the state’s data, Humboldt County recorded 5.1 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and had a test-positivity rate of 3.6 percent over the seven-day period. Humboldt’s numbers dwarf those of the state as a whole, which recorded 2 new COVID-19 case per 100,000 residents and a test-positivity rate of 0.8 percent.
To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 4,408 cases, with 194 hospitalizations and 46 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.
The county dashboard lists 4,261 people as having “recovered” from the virus locally, though that just means they are no longer contagious 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.
Nationwide, more than 33.2 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 596,059 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In California, more than 3.6 million cases have been confirmed with 62,538 deaths, according to the Department of Public Health.
Meanwhile, the county’s Joint Information Center is urging locals to get tested, calling it “one of the most helpful things county residents can do for the community at large,” because it allows Public Health to catch cases early and limit spread. The state-run OptumServe testing site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka is open seven days a week and no-cost appointments can be made by clicking here or calling (888) 634-1123 and other newly opened screening site information can be found here.
The Humboldt County Data Dashboard includes hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which are reported in “a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases,” according to the county. After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.
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 email@example.com or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 county release below:
June 10, 2021 – 4 New Cases Reported Today; State Releases Details of New Masking Guidance707-441-5000 ; email@example.com ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
Four new cases of COVID-19 and two new hospitalizations have been reported in Humboldt County today. The total number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus is 4,408 after a previously reported case was determined to be from another jurisdiction and removed from the count.
The State of California announced that it plans to align its masking guidance with that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 15. The guidance allows for fully vaccinated people to go unmasked in most public settings, with the exception of health care settings, indoor youth settings, homeless and emergency shelters, public transit and correctional facilities.
The CDC guidance still requires unvaccinated individuals to mask in indoor public settings and businesses as well as in outdoor settings when around people who are unvaccinated and not part of their household. Unvaccinated people of the same household who gather outdoors with fully vaccinated people who are not part of their household will not need to mask.
Approximately 13% of the county’s population is under 12 years of age and not yet eligible for vaccination, and about 51% of eligible county residents over the age of 12 are unvaccinated.
The latest guidance will take the place of all previous masking guidance when it takes effect Tuesday and may be reviewed in detail at cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx.
Humboldt County Public Health has partnered with the True North Organizing Network for a family vaccination clinic Sunday, June 13. Spanish-speaking staff will be on hand to assist community members as they go through the vaccination process. Walk-ins are welcome at this and all Public Health clinics, or people may schedule in advance through MyTurn.ca.gov. See below for details.
Eureka – Sunday, June 13 – 2 to 5 p.m.
College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized for people 18 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people age 12 and older.
A parent or guardian must accompany minor children to the clinic. Minor consent forms are available online in English and Spanish and may be printed and filled out for each minor child before coming to the clinic.
To check COVID-19 vaccine availability at local pharmacies, visit vaccines.gov, or text a ZIP code to 438829 to find a participating pharmacy nearby. Walk-ins are allowed at most pharmacies.
View the Humboldt County Data Dashboard online at humboldtgov.org/dashboard, or go to humboldtgov.org/DashboardArchives to download today’s 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