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Humboldt Health Alert

Posted on: September 17, 2021

Sept. 17, 2021 - Additional Post-vaccination Hospitalizations and Deaths Reported Today

Seventy-seven new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Humboldt County today, bringing to 8,098 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus.

Four new hospitalizations were also reported, including a person in their 50s, two in their 60s and one over the age of 80. A person in their 60s has died.

After extensive case review, Public Health officials have identified six additional fully vaccinated individuals who have died from the virus. A total of seven residents have died from post-vaccination or “breakthrough” illness out of 84 total deaths attributed to the virus. Thirty-four people have been hospitalized due to post-vaccine illness out of 368 total hospitalizations.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hoffman expressed his heartfelt condolences for these losses and stressed again the importance of an additional dose of mRNA vaccine for immunocompromised individuals.

“Our local data matches what we know from CDC and CDPH: fully vaccinated people with severe risk factors and compromised immune systems are at higher risk for being a post-vaccine case, hospitalization or fatality compared to other fully vaccinated people with stronger immune response to vaccine,” Hoffman said.

He added that statistics continue to show that unvaccinated cases are younger and are much more likely to be infected, become hospitalized, and die from COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated.

Chart showing case rates (per 100K) since December 2020 with the unvaccinated case rate at 21, vaccinated at zero. Unvaccinated case rates climb to 29 in January, down as low as three in April, then up to 26 in mid-May, while vaccinated case rates never exceeded two. On June 15, when COVID restrictions were lifted, the unvaccinated case rate was 10 and vaccinated case rate was zero. Then by mid-July, cases for everyone began to climb. On August 7, a local mask mandate was put back into place requiring all individuals over the age of 2 to wear a facial covering in public indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings. The local case rate for unvaccinated people declined from 67 residents per 100,000 to 53 since last week, while the case rate for fully vaccinated individuals has declined for a fifth consecutive week.

The seven-day average case rate is currently 32.6, meaning that for every 100,000 county residents, about 33 people have tested positive over the last seven days.

The county has recorded 375 new positive cases since the last weekly data update on Sept. 10. Three residents have died from the virus during that same period. Twelve county residents have been hospitalized over the last week. Their age ranges are as follows:

  • 1 person in their 30s
  • 3 people in their 50s
  • 4 people in their 60s
  • 1 people in their 70s
  • 3 people over the age of 80.

Testing for COVID-19 is now available at most Public Health vaccine clinics, where residents will have the option of getting tested, vaccinated or both. As always, testing and vaccination services are free of charge. Combo clinics will be held this weekend in Miranda and McKinleyville, with additional clinics next week in Hoopa, Willow Creek, Garberville, Blue Lake and Arcata.

COVID-19 testing continues in Eureka from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week at the Wharfinger Building at 1 Marina Way. The test site is operated by OptumServe and located in the Bay Room on the lower floor of the building. The site is closed from 11 a.m. to noon and 4 to 5 p.m. for staff meal breaks. Walk-ins are welcome, but preregistration is recommended. Sign up at lhi.care/covidtesting.

Public health officials continue to urge residents to get tested, particularly unvaccinated individuals, those experiencing symptoms, and those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.

Walk-ins are welcome, and appointments can be made 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:

Miranda — Saturday, Sept. 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     South Fork High School (6831 Avenue of the Giants)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
     Testing available

McKinleyville — Sunday, Sept. 19, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
     McKinleyville High School (1300 Murray Road)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
     Testing available

Eureka — Monday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (closed from noon to 1 p.m.)
     Public Health (529 I St.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     Testing NOT available

Hoopa — Tuesday, Sept. 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
     Yurok Tribe Weitchpec Office (State Route 96)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     Testing available

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Sept. 21, 3 to 5 p.m.
     Public Health (77 Walnut Way)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     Testing available

Garberville — Wednesday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
     Public Health (727 Cedar St.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     Testing available

Blue Lake — Thursday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
     Blue Lake Resource Center-Skinner Store (111 Greenwood Road)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     Testing available 

Arcata — Thursday, Sept. 23, 4 to 6 p.m.
     Arcata High School (1720 M St.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson
     Testing available

Eureka — Friday, Sept. 24, 1 to 4 p.m.
     Transition-Age Youth Division (433 M St.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     Testing available

Arcata — Friday, Sept. 24, 9 a.m. to noon
     D Street Neighborhood Center (1301 D St.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     Testing available

Vaccination is also available at local pharmacies. To check availability of a specific vaccine at local pharmacies, visit vaccines.gov, or text your ZIP code to 438829 to locate a pharmacy offering vaccines nearby. Most pharmacies allow walk-ins.

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.

While some fully vaccinated individuals have experienced post-vaccination infection, health officials overwhelmingly agree that vaccination is the most effective way to reduce the incidence of severe outcomes.

Full protection from vaccination is achieved two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose series or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.

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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