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Humboldt Health Alert

Posted on: December 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021 - 1 New Hospitalization, 48 New Cases Reported

Humboldt County Public Health reported today 48 new cases of COVID-19, bringing to 10,569 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. One new hospitalization, a resident in their 60s, was also reported.

Although there are no known cases locally, the Omicron variant has been confirmed in California and 35 other states, and incidence is anticipated to rise over the next several weeks following holiday gatherings. The Omicron variant is highly transmissible, but health officials cite new data that suggests primary vaccination and booster shots can limit impacts, including hospitalizations and deaths.

California recently expanded its Pfizer booster eligibility for 16- and 17-year-olds and is encouraging boosters as protection against Omicron. A person who is fully vaccinated is half as likely to pass on the infection as someone who is unvaccinated. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an unvaccinated person is nearly six times more likely to get COVID-19 than a vaccinated person and 14 times more likely to die.

On Thursday, the CDC updated its messaging for COVID-19 vaccines, specifying that Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are preferred over Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, but that being vaccinated with any approved vaccine is better than being unvaccinated. Newly reported data indicates that thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome or TTS, a very rare blood clotting syndrome, is more common among people who recently got a J&J vaccine.

Humboldt County Public Health will continue to offer the J&J vaccine at all of their clinics in order to not limit options. Health Officer Ian Hoffman said, “Locally, we have ample supply of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) for people to choose from and if someone choses J&J due to medical or personal choices, we want that option to be available. The risk of vaccination with any product is still far less than the risk of COVID-19 complications.” He said people questioning which vaccine is right for them should consult their primary care provider.

Since the last data update on Dec. 10, the county has recorded 223 new cases of COVID-19. No deaths have been reported during that period. Seven new hospitalizations of residents were reported. Six were unvaccinated and one was vaccinated. Age ranges of reported hospitalizations are as follows:

  • 1 person in their 20s
  • 2 people in their 40s
  • 2 people in their 60s
  • 2 people in their 70s

The current seven-day average case rate in Humboldt County is approximately 14, meaning for every 100,000 residents, approximately 14 tested positive daily over the last seven days. Case rates vary considerably by vaccination status, as illustrated in the graph below, which depicts average weekly case rates since Dec. 2020 in unvaccinated and fully vaccinated residents.

Chart showing case rates (per 100,000 residents) 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 four in April, then up to 24 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 one. Then by mid-July, cases for everyone began to climb. The local case rate for unvaccinated people rose to a high of 80 residents per 100,000, declined to 14, went back up to 31 and then down to 16. The case rate for fully vaccinated individuals reached a high of 30 in early August and declined to 5 before increasing to 15 and then going down to 9.Opens in new window

The current seven-day average case rate for fully vaccinated individuals is 9 per 100,000 residents while the case rate for unvaccinated individuals is 16 per 100,000 residents. View a more detailed depiction of the case rate graph here.

On Saturday, Dec. 18, Public Health will hold a mobile vaccine clinic in Arcata at the Community United of North Arcata’s (CUNA) Winter Arts and Artisan Market at the Red Roof Inn, 4975 Valley West Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature local food vendors and performers. The Area 1 Agency on Aging announced it is offering incentives to individuals aged 60 and older who receive a vaccine at the clinic, or the caregiver of the person aged 60 or older who receives a shot.

Public Health is offering family vaccination clinics throughout December to give priority to children aged 5 to 11 and provide family members a convenient way to get their vaccines.

Vaccines, including boosters, are 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.

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 at MyTurn.ca.gov.

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

Arcata — Saturday, Dec. 18, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m
     Red Roof Inn (4975 Valley West Blvd.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
     PCR and rapid testing available.
     Appointments strongly recommended.

McKinleyville Family Clinic — Sunday, Dec. 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     McKinleyville High School (1300 Murray Road)
     Ages 5-18 and family members.
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
     PCR and rapid testing available.
     Appointments strongly recommended.

Eureka — Monday, Dec. 20, 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 adults receiving a first or second dose.
    Appointments required.

Fortuna Family Clinic — Monday, Dec. 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     Walker Elementary School (2089 Newburg Road)
     Ages 5-18 and family members.
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
     PCR and rapid testing available.
     Appointments strongly recommended.

Eureka — Tuesday, Dec. 21, 9 to 11:30 a.m.
     
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
     Ages 12 and older.
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna.
     No testing available.
     Appointments required.

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Dec. 21, 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 adults receiving a first or second dose.
     Appointments strongly recommended.

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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