Humboldt County skips from yellow to red tier

Part of a statewide effort to slow COVID-19 cases, Humboldt county enters a heavily restrictive tier.
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Part of a statewide effort to slow COVID-19 cases, Humboldt county enters a heavily restrictive tier.

Humboldt County moved into a heavily restrictive tier as part of a statewide COVID-19 response. California saw a rise of cases within the past weeks, reporting 57,000 new cases within the past seven days. Governor Gavin Newsom said this will slow down any plans of reopening.

Part of a 40 county reorganization, Humboldt has been moved from the lowest tier into the second highest tier, with 4.8 cases for every 100,000 tests conducted.

42 percent of positive, reported Humboldt county cases have occurred within the Latinx community, despite making up only 12.3 percent of the population according to 2019 US Census Bureau data.

In a Humboldt Health Alert sent out on Nov. 16, Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said that the current case rates could possibly move Humboldt into the most restrictive tier.

“Since the state first implemented the Blueprint framework, they’ve signaled that they could move faster if conditions warranted,” said Frankovich. “Our recent data shows why that makes sense because this virus is moving faster than we have ever seen, and rapid response can help to slow the upward trajectory.”

Under the new tier list all bars, breweries and distilleries will be closed while wineries can be open outdoors only. Restaurants, retail shops and places of worship can be open “…indoors at maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer,” according to the Humboldt Health Alert.

The CDC and the Humboldt Department of Health and Human Services both highly advise against having gatherings for the holidays as this will most likely increase the spread of COVID-19.

“We simply need to stop traveling and stop gathering, especially indoors. It isn’t safe, and it is impacting our schools and our business communities,” Frankovich said in the health alert. “The upcoming holidays need to be single household celebrations if we want to get through this pandemic with fewer hospitalizations and fewer lives lost.”

Nationwide, cases continue to spike. The New York Times is currently tracking around 11.4 million cases reported nationwide and nearly 250,000 deaths attributed to the virus, as of time of publication.

The Center for Disease Control has predicted that “…the number of newly reported COVID-19 deaths will likely increase over the next four weeks, with 5,500 to 13,400 new deaths likely to be reported in the week ending Dec. 5, 2020. The national ensemble predicts that a total of 260,000 to 282,000 COVID-19 deaths will be reported by this date.”

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