The number of residents testing for COVID-19 has dropped sharply in recent months as vaccination rates rise, prompting health officials to push for further testing.
“Testing is critical to reducing the spread of disease in the community,” said Hava Phillips, supervisor of the Communicable Disease Program and Public Health Clinic. “It’s so much easier to spread a disease when you don’t know you have it.”
Testing in Humboldt County is offered free of charge seven days a week (7 am to 7 pm) at Redwood Acres in Eureka and is also available at various locations throughout the county every day of the week. Walk-ins are welcome at all sites and turnaround time for results is 48-72 hours. See the full program below:
- Eureka: Seven days a week, 7 a.m. M. A 7 p. M. (Redwood Acres, 3750 Harris St.)
- Arcata: Monday, 8 am to 5:30 pm (Arcata Community Center, 321 MLK Jr. Pkwy.)
- Garberville: Tuesdays, 9 am to 4:30 pm (SoHum Health Sprowl Creek campus, 286 Sprowl Creek Road)
- Fortuna: Wednesday, 8 a.m. M. At 5:30 p. M. (River Lodge Conference Center, 1800 Riverwalk Drive)
- Hoopa: Thursdays, 9 a.m. M. At 3:30 p. M. (Tsewenaldin Inn, 12482 CA-96)
- McKinleyville: Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm (Azalea Hall, 1620 Pickett Road).
To schedule, go to lhi.care/covidtesting or call 888-634-1123.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), early data shows that vaccines may work against some variants, but may be less effective against others. Currently, there are five variants of concern in California, which are believed to be more contagious or may cause more serious or serious illness, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Additionally, while COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing people from contracting COVID-19, the CDC is still learning how well vaccines prevent them from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if they have no symptoms. .
Additionally, a major concern among public health officials is that a resistant variant of the vaccine will develop “before we can control it,” Phillips said.
“Viruses mutate easily, and if the mutations are significant enough, they can create a new variant,” he said, explaining that each person with COVID-19 can have viruses with a few different mutations. “But if people know they are sick and remain isolated, then none of those mutations has a chance of spreading to anyone else, and the chance of a new variant decreases.
New variants are found by looking at the virus that is among the positive tests. “When people don’t get tested, it takes longer to identify that new variants are spreading, slowing down research and response,” Phillips said.
Fully vaccinated people should still be on the lookout for COVID-19 symptoms, especially after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, according to the CDC. If symptoms occur, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, should be isolated and clinically evaluated for COVID-19, including testing, if indicated.
For the latest information on COVID-19, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting [email protected] or by calling 707-441-5000.
Some Safeway and CVS Pharmacy locations offer COVID-19 vaccination appointments. See if appointments are available for your age group or industry at one of these locations by clicking the links below.
CVS Pharmacy: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine?icid=cvs-home-hero1-link2-coronavirus-vaccine.