The Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center today added an Alert Level Assessment Tool on the Data Dashboard (humboldtgov.org/dashboard) to assist residents to better understand the current risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The tool tracks three categories used as indicators of Humboldt County’s ability to respond to and manage an increase in disease transmission. Each category is assigned a level between one and four based on current virus conditions. Categories include the following:
- Spread of COVID-19 - how much COVID-19 is occurring in our community
- Health Care System Capacity - trends in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and availability of critical medical resources, including health care workers
- Effectiveness of Disease Control - effectiveness of community mitigation and public health efforts to control the spread of COVID-19.
The Overall Alert Level is determined by the highest of all three categories and indicates what actions community residents should take to limit transmission of the virus.
- Level 1 - New Normal - Cases are somewhat sporadic, and contact tracing can be used to control the virus. Take everyday enhanced precautions.
- Level 2 - Moderate Risk - Moderate number of cases with majority of cases from a known source. Increase efforts to limit personal exposure.
- Level 3 – High Risk - Many cases including community spread, with many undetected cases likely. Limit everyday activities to increase safety.
- Level 4 - Very High Risk - Widespread outbreak that is growing with many undetected cases. Take strong measures to limit all contact.
Humboldt County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Josh Ennis pointed out that limiting the spread of COVID-19 requires a communitywide effort. “The virus is spreading throughout Humboldt County and beyond, which makes it challenging to determine how to assess our risk and adjust our individual behaviors,” he said. “We developed this tool with the Emergency Operations Center to provide greater context for our local data.”
Dr. Ennis said the Overall Alert Level today stands at a 2 because of increasing case counts and recent strains on testing capacity due to a rising demand for tests nationwide. That’s in addition to an influx of travel-related cases with large numbers of contacts while infectious, posing problems for effective investigation and tracing.
“Public health is so much more than just our county’s response at this point,” Dr. Ennis said. “It’s also residents having access to knowledge and taking ownership to protect our community.”
The Alert Level Assessment Tool will be updated Monday through Friday as conditions change. Visit humboldtgov.org/dashboard to view the tool. To learn more about alert levels, go to humboldtgov.org/alertlevels.
Screenshot of the Alert Level Assessment Tool taken on July 16, 2020.
For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting email@example.com or calling 707-441-5000.
Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/dashboard,
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Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19, and
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert