Earlier today, Drs. Ian Hoffman, Humboldt County Health Officer, raised questions from the media on the county’s management of the epidemic: Why hasn’t public contact-tracing data been seen in the last few weeks? How is his department handling the workload associated with the increase of new cases? Do Dead Laborers Get Vaccines? Were there other workplace outbreaks in Bruce’s assisted living facilities? Did his office release the names of the deceased?
(To that last question, Hoffman answers with a quick “no”, though it may inadvertently be on a technicality. In the past, the coroner’s office – not public health – has released the information in question.)
Video above, roughly transcript below.
The Lost Coast Outpost asks, “Can you tell us what’s happening with the ‘transmission type’ statistics on the county dashboard? In the last 30 days, 770 new cases of COVID have been confirmed in the county. In the same period, only 60 cases have been officially put down due to contact or travel. Meanwhile, the number of cases listed as “under investigation” exceeds the number of known, active cases in the county by 768. How can Dashboard classify only 14 more infections through ‘contact of a known case’ between 1 and now, when there have been some 70 cases related to the Grenada outbreak in the same period? “
Very good question. Everyone was really happy to see and use the dashboard.
We can clarify this. So on 1 December we went to a state-based system called CalConnect, which is a way to do contact tracing and checking in a much more organized way. Of course, the training and transition period was far from the few other tasks we were doing, including how we could track all this and put it on the dashboard.
So I think there is a backlog of those 600 some cases that we are working on to get that information. We know the information, we just have to avoid it and put it in the right place so that we can put it on the dashboard, and it can be done during the next week.
What I would say is that you know, yes, we know what most of our cases are, they are still in touch with the vast majority of a known case. There is still an aroma of travel-related matters and certainly meetings are another area that we know is a big part of our affairs. So, look at that update soon, it’s something we’ve been working on since last week and going into next week.
The Lost Coast Outpost asks, “What does public health do to track disease progression in people battling the virus? What resources should you bring to active case monitoring? With the number of known, active cases over 500, do you find that public health is unable to perform this task to the extent that it should be done, or to the extent that it has done it before? “
Yes, a very good question indeed, it involves a lot of what we do here on public health and our role in people with COVID-19. So our first role is actually identifying the cases of COVID-19 and we feel that we have to directly contact the state and the systems that track the results of the laboratory and our team who contact those for COVID-19 Are positive, they interview him. They find out what risks they have as the disease spreads. They give them a lot of information about how they can be isolated at home, who their contacts are, and also help define the period that they were contagious and have contact with other people could. And they provide information about how they can get medical care, but I would be clear that we do not provide any medical care to the cases. We encourage people to seek care from their physician or if they need emergency services. The next part of this is actually identifying contacts and getting those people on quarantine. We used to do a lot at a time when the case number in Keselod was small. We need to tell you about this and a month ago we started talking to people about this message that we would like low-risk cases to contact our own contacts and inform them about quarantine Will say So we are right there. We continue to contact every case that has COVID-19 and we continue to inform them about COVID-19, about segregation, and to keep our contacts on quarantine and that we are high-risk Let’s look for the settings contact.
The Times-Standard asks, “What guidance does the state provide for vaccinating marital employees who have contact with COVID positive bodies?”
Yes, I have not seen specific guidance on people who work with COVID positive bodies, but you know that we have guidance for three levels in Phase 1A and those three levels include Tier 3 lab workers, So I think we will put that with Tier 3. We will look at it and see, but I would put it in the same category as someone who works in a laboratory. So be on the lookout for that guidance and we will tell people if we get any specific information on it.
The Times-Standard asks, “How long is the deceased able to pass with the virus after death?”
I must say that I do not know the answer. I do not know if there is any study or concrete evidence about this. We have recommendations for the use of PPE with an organization that is COVID positive and all those who are well versed in it should use full PPE.
The Times-Standard asks, “Are there any other Brius facilities in Hamboldt County affected by the outbreak in Grenada?”
Therefore, we do not know of any other outbreaks at any other facility by that company in Humboldt County. There has been a case in many of our skilled nursing facilities and a worker in assisted living facilities, but the results have not been found. Therefore there are no other outbreaks in Humboldt County.
The Times-Standard asks, “Have any Grenada residents or employees received vaccinations?”
No, they do not. We are working on a plan right now, when vaccinations begin after their quarantine has passed, we will work on them and all skilled nursing facilities in the next round.
The Times-Standard asks, “The names of the first COVID-19 related deaths were released. Names will be released at any further point. If not, then why not? “
Public Health does not release the names of the deceased from COVID-19 and we have no plans to do so in future.