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Humboldt Health Alert

Posted on: October 29, 2021

Oct. 29, 2021 - 2 Deaths, 28 New Cases Reported

Humboldt County Public Health reported today the death of two residents in their 70s from COVID-19. Staff in the Department Operations Center extend their condolences to the families, friends and caregivers.

Twenty-eight new cases were also reported, bringing to 9,334 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus.

With Halloween coming up this weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided tips for enjoying the holiday safely by wearing a mask, celebrating outdoors and avoiding crowds.

  • Trick-or treating in small groups and other outdoor activities like pumpkin patches and hayrides are preferable to indoor activities such as crowded parties or haunted houses.
  • Masks should be worn when handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Tables can be set up outdoors to hand out individually wrapped candy. Keep interactions brief, and have hand-sanitizer available.

Humboldt County continues to be designated as an area of high transmission by the CDC, which recommends limiting the number of participants in indoor gatherings, adjusting the indoor layout to allow for physical distancing and to enhance ventilation of indoor spaces.

With the return of fall weather and residents spending more time indoors, Public Health officials remind residents to continue to practice social distancing, to wash hands frequently and to follow local guidance in planning safer gatherings. 

To view the holiday and gatherings guidance from the CDC and Humboldt County Public Health, visit the cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/ and Humboldt County guidance for gatherings and events resources.

Since the last weekly data update on Oct. 22, the county has recorded 155 new cases of COVID-19. Three deaths were also reported during that period, including one fully vaccinated person. A total of 112 residents have died from COVID-19 in the county. Of the three hospitalizations reported over the last week, one person was fully vaccinated, and two were unvaccinated. Age ranges of reported hospitalizations are as follows:

  • 1 person in their 30s
  • 1 person in their 60s
  • 1 person aged 80 or older.

The seven-day average case rate in Humboldt County is currently 11, meaning that for every 100,000 residents, 11 residents tested positive daily over the last seven days. The average case rates vary considerably depending on vaccination status, as illustrated by the graph below, depicting average weekly case rates since Dec. 2020 in unvaccinated and fully vaccinated residents.

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 three. On June 15, when COVID restrictions were lifted, the unvaccinated case rate was 13 and vaccinated case rate was zero. Then by mid-July, cases for everyone began to climb. On Aug. 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 rose to a high of 80 residents per 100,000 but has since declined to 13. The case rate for fully vaccinated individuals reached a high of 26 in early August and has declined to 9.

The current seven-day average case rate for unvaccinated individuals is 13 per 100,000 residents, while the case rate for vaccinated residents is 9 per 100,000. The overall case rate has fallen from the peak during the summer and is now lower than peaks during the previous surges. View a more detailed depiction of the case rate graph.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has recommended that all eligible residents who are at increased risk for hospitalization and severe COVID-19 disease should get a Pfizer or Moderna booster at least six months after their second dose. The CDPH also recommended that adults who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine get a booster if it has been two months since their first dose.

Boosters are being offered at all Public Health vaccination clinics and eligible people may receive a single dose of any of the available COVID-19 vaccines as a “mix-and-match” booster following the completion of a different primary vaccine series. For more information about the state’s booster recommendations and guidance, read the COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Questions & Answers page.

Residents who need their first or second dose are also encouraged to schedule an appointment or to walk in. Appointments 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.

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

Today the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use for children 5 to 11 years old, following the recommendation from its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee earlier this week. An advisory panel for the CDC is scheduled to meet Tuesday, Nov. 2, to discuss the FDA’s authorization. CDPH officials said the state anticipates rolling out vaccines to this age group as early as next week once the review process is complete.

Public Health officials are recommending residents, particularly those who are unvaccinated, get tested if they are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. Testing is available through OptumServe seven days a week at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka and at mobile sites throughout the county most weekdays. For more information about testing, go to humboldtgov.org/covidtestregistration.

Public Health officials stress that residents should report positive at-home test results to a health care provider or to Public Health if there is no provider so transmission of the virus in the community can be better identified.

Those with a positive at-home test for COVID-19 should isolate and notify their close contacts to limit the spread of disease. False positive test results are unlikely when an antigen test is used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, according to the CDC’s antigen testing guidance page.

Individuals who require documentation of test results for employment or travel may get PCR testing through Public Health or their health care providers. PCR follow-up testing for an at-home rapid test is most accurate 24 to 48 hours after an initial at-home positive test. For more information, visit the Humboldt County Home-Testing FAQ, or call the Joint Information Center at 707-441-5000.

The county’s vaccination and testing services are available free of charge. Those who receive their first or second dose of vaccine at a Public Health office in Eureka, Willow Creek or Garberville can choose a $25 Renner Petroleum or Coming Attractions Theatres gift card. Incentives are offered on a first-come, first-served basis at those locations only.

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

McKinleyville — Saturday, Oct. 30, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
     Church of the Joyful Healer (1944 Central Ave.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     PCR and rapid testing available

Eureka — Monday, Nov. 1, 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
     $25 gift card for those receiving a first or second dose

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Nov. 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed from noon to 1 p.m.
     Public Health Office (77 Walnut Way)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     PCR and rapid testing available
     $25 gift card for those receiving a first or second dose

Garberville — Wednesday, Nov. 3, 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
     $25 gift card for those receiving a first or second dose

Eureka — Thursday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
     College of the Redwoods Gym (7351 Tompkins Hill Road)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     PCR and rapid testing available

Blue Lake — Friday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
     Blue Lake Resource Center (111 Greenwood Road)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     PCR and rapid testing available

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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