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Humboldt Health Alert

Posted on: January 14, 2022

Jan. 14, 2022 - No New Hospitalizations or Deaths

Humboldt County Public Health reported today 185 new cases of COVID-19, bringing to 12,918 the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus. No new deaths or hospitalizations were reported.

Since the last data update on Jan. 7, the county has recorded 1,113 new cases of COVID-19. Four deaths were reported during that period, three were unvaccinated and one whose vaccination status is unknown. Seven new hospitalizations of residents were also reported. Five were unvaccinated and two were fully vaccinated. Age ranges of reported hospitalizations in the seven-day period are as follows:

  • 1 person in their 20s
  • 1 person in their 50s
  • 1 person in their 60s
  • 3 people in their 70s
  • 1 person aged 80 or older

The graphs below, which depict average weekly case rates and estimated weekly hospitalization and death rates in unvaccinated and fully vaccinated local residents, show that more severe outcomes from COVID-19 are higher among unvaccinated individuals.

For the reporting period between June 5, 2021, and Jan. 2, 2022, 16 fully vaccinated Humboldt County resident died from COVID-19. The average age of those deaths was 79. During that same period, 48 unvaccinated residents died from the virus. The average age of those deaths was 67. During that same period, 56 fully vaccinated residents were hospitalized with an average age of 74 and 244 unvaccinated individuals were hospitalized with an average age of 58.

Chart showing weekly averages for hospitalization and death rates (per 100K) since June 2021. Unvaccinated hospitalizations passed five during the first and last week of August, approached three in late September, and have alternated between one and two since then. Vaccinated hospitalizations have remained at less than one since June, with the exception of early August when they rose above one. Unvaccinated deaths rose above one in early September, remaining at or below one since then. Vaccinated deaths have remained below one since June.

The graph above from data between June 5, 2021 and Jan. 2, 2022, illustrates the county’s current weekly hospitalization rate for fully vaccinated individuals is 0.2 per 100,000 while the rate for unvaccinated individuals is 11 times higher at 2.2 per 100,000. Over the past 10 weeks, both the hospitalization and mortality rates for unvaccinated individuals was approximately 11 times greater than those for fully vaccinated. View a more detailed depiction of the hospitalization and death rates graph.

The current seven-day average case rate in Humboldt County is approximately 81, meaning that for every 100,000 residents, approximately 81 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 February 2021 in unvaccinated and fully vaccinated residents.

Chart showing case rates (per 100,000 residents) since February 2021 with the unvaccinated case rate at eight, vaccinated at zero. Unvaccinated case rates drop to 4 in April, climb 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 18, went back up to 31 down to 20 and up to 58. The case rate for fully vaccinated individuals reached a high of 30 in early August and declined to 6 before increasing to 12 and up to 84.

The most recent seven-day average case rate for the period ending Jan. 2 for fully vaccinated individuals is 84 per 100,000 residents, while the case rate for unvaccinated individuals is 58 per 100,000 residents. Despite increasing coronavirus infections among vaccinated people, experts say vaccines are still significantly reducing the risks of severe illness. "Just because you have a breakthrough infection doesn't mean the vaccine does not work and isn't giving you huge benefit,” Dr. Justin Lessler, professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina. View a more detailed depiction of the case rate graph here.

The California Department of Public Health has updated its guidance on isolation and quarantine for workplace settings aimed at allowing certain vaccinated people to continue working under specific circumstances.

State health officials also recently expanded eligibility and are recommending boosters for children aged 12 to 15 if it has been at least five months since they completed their primary vaccination series. Appointments can be made on the state’s updated vaccination portal My Turn.

Public Health is monitoring a surge in cases that officials are attributing to the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Officials continue to stress that residents, especially those who are unvaccinated, work to protect themselves and their families from all COVID-19 variants by following mask requirements in public settings, socially distancing and getting vaccinated or boosted when eligible to do so.

Health officials are also reminding residents that hospitalizations, rather than positive case numbers, are the best indicator of how the county is being impacted in the most recent surge of cases. Vaccines and boosters provide an increased level of protection from Omicron, Delta and other variants.

Those individuals who are fully vaccinated or boosted typically develop milder symptoms, shorter illness duration and have fewer hospitalizations and less severe outcomes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rates of hospitalizations by vaccination status, unvaccinated adults are greater than 8 times more likely to be hospitalized than those adults who are fully vaccinated. Locally, that number is currently 13 times higher for the period from Jan. 2 through Jan. 8.

The COVID-19 Joint Information Center (1-707-441-5000) will be closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. English and Spanish speaking call takers will resume regular operations on Tuesday to answer questions related to COVID-19 vaccination, testing and preventive measures. Questions emailed to covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us over the holiday will also be responded to on Tuesday.

OptumServe’s testing sites at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka and Azalea Hall in McKinleyville will be open during the holiday Monday. Appointments are required and can be made at lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 888-634-1123.

As always, 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, an 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.

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

See the schedule below for specific Public Health vaccination and testing clinic dates, times, locations and available services. Questions about clinic services can be directed to the Joint Information Center at 1-707-441-5000.

Redway — Saturday, Jan. 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     
Healy Senior Center (456 Briceland Road)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     PCR and rapid testing available on a first-come first-served basis
     Appointments for vaccinations strongly recommended.

Eureka — Tuesday, Jan. 18, 9 to 11:30 a.m. — FULL
     
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
     Ages 12 and older
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     No testing available
     $25 gift card for adults receiving a first or second dose
     Appointments required.

Eureka Pediatric Clinic — Tuesday, Jan. 18, 1:15 to 3:45 p.m. 
     
Public Health Main Office (529 I St.)
     Ages 5 to 11
     Pfizer only
     No testing available
     Appointments required.

Willow Creek — Tuesday, Jan. 18, 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 on a first-come first-served basis
     $25 gift card for adults receiving a first or second dose
     Appointments for vaccinations strongly recommended.

Arcata — Wednesday, Jan. 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     
D Street Neighborhood Center (1301 D St.)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     PCR and rapid testing available on a first-come first-served basis
     Appointments for vaccinations strongly recommended.

Hoopa — Thursday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
     
Hoopa Fire Hall (11121 Hwy 96)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     No rapid testing available at this clinic. PCR testing offered through OptumServe by appointment only at the Hoopa Fire Hall.
     Appointments for vaccinations strongly recommended.

Eureka — Friday, Jan. 21, 1 to 8 p.m.
     
Wharfinger Building (1 Marina Way)
     Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Moderna
     No rapid testing available at this clinic. PCR testing offered through OptumServe by appointment on the lower floor of the Wharfinger Building.
     Appointments for vaccinations 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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