Host fire refugees? Here are the county’s best practices for ‘safely harboring’ during an epidemic Lost Coast Outpost


Press release from the Humboldt County Joint Information Center:

Local health officials urged community residents and organizations to limit exposure to COVID-19 for wildfire protection.

“Protecting lives is the first priority in any emergency,” said Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich. “Right now, our communities are facing many emergencies, so we have to stop the transmission of COVID-19 as well as protect ourselves and our families from fire and smoke.”

Dr. Frankovich noted that there is no way to eliminate the risk of transmission of the virus in an asylum setting, but there are ways to reduce it. Those housing wildfires are vacated, whether it is an individual home, church, or community center, which should have a COVID-19 security plan that includes the following:

  • Limit face-to-face interaction and use of shared spaces.
  • Make readily available cleaning and cleaning supplies, including soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, at least 60 percent alcohol and garbage cans to cover a single-use face.
  • Separate sick people from those who are healthy.
  • Provide single use utensils and utensils if possible. Non-disposable food service items should be handled with gloves and washed with soap and warm water. Because it is not possible to wear a mask while eating, food should be taken in and out whenever possible.
  • Avoid interacting with anyone except those who are being given shelter.

Basic COVID-19 safety precautions should be used whenever possible. These include:

  • Facial covering in public settings and common areas of shelters or homes.
  • Washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol where potable water is unavailable.
  • Maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet from those who live outside one’s domestic unit.

“Our friends and neighbors need help, and Humboldt shows up when needed. All we want is to be as safe as possible. “Dr. Frankovich said.

A Northern California Regional Evacuation Shelter has been established at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds (1250 5th St., Ferndale, CA 95536) for wildfire protection. For more information on available services, visit humboldtgov.org/civicalerts.aspx?AID=3251. For evacuation information call the Humboldt County Wildfire Evacuation Information Line at 707-268-2500.

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For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or by contacting [email protected] during business hours or by calling 707-441-5000.

Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/dashboard, follow us on Facebook: @ HumCoCOVID19, Instagram: @ HumCoCOVID19, Twitter: @ HumCoCOVID19, And Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert