Today’s media availability with Dr. Teresa Frankovich, Humboldt County Health Officer, is over; approximate transcript of the machine below.
You would like to start by contacting the
Well, I just wanted to say we are
thinking of our fellow citizens and the people on the other side
the state obviously hit by fire
and hoping everyone is managing to stay safe, making sure they evacuate if
instructed to do so, if you find yourself in an area of concern
that you turn to friends and neighbors, make sure
especially for those who may be sheltered on the spot,
older people, make sure they get the information they need e
they are doing well. We can do it over the phone or knock on a
door, but obviously we̵
still maintain those COVID prevention measures we talked about.
I know that again some people may be sheltering people in their home
and you know we appreciate the fact that we take care of each other.
If there is a way you can do it and have separate people
part of the house or in a separate building
with your home, these are the safest options than being a part of
same family, but if you are all in the same family,
if you have the opportunity to distance yourself, to use very good hand washing,
cleaning surfaces frequently, you know that anything can help
in addition to masking in public, you know more spaces combined in your home
in order to try to decrease the transmission.
We want everyone to stay like
as healthy as possible during all of this while helping each other
and if you need more information, the Humboldt County Office
of the emergency services is coordinating the response to this, then
you can contact us and we will list the number.
The North Coast News asks, “How could the current smoky air quality
Do conditions impact COVID patients and what should they do to stay safe? “
Well, I worry that smoky air conditions impact a lot of people
in our community, especially those with chronic
respiratory conditions and other health problems and certainly if
COVID patients have respiratory symptoms as part of theirs
disease, we want everyone to be careful and check themselves
feel a growing shortness of breath or if that
their symptoms are worse than they need to contact a doctor
and obviously in this case, where we normally find ourselves saying COVID
that people are out as much as possible, obviously it will be a challenge
and therefore people are likely to stay more inside,
and that’s okay, but again it’s especially important that if you were
going to see people or getting together with people
in a small number away from home, safely or more securely,
bringing people to your home is more of a risk.
And so I think people just need to be aware of it if they keep taking more
of their indoor activities right now, unless you are actually repairing
someone who needs that shelter, that you really try and stay
with the home unit as much as possible.
The North Coast News asks: “Smoke from fires can irritate the lungs,
cause inflammation, affect the immune system.
Can it also make you more prone to getting COVID? “
I don’t think we have data to date that tells us if this is the
Pencil case. We don’t even know such as with
exposure to tobacco smoke if it actually increases the risk of contracting
COVID. We can certainly assume that if you do
contract COVID and are having this respiratory
symptoms already due to the fire, which can make it more difficult. So, again, I think all those preventative measures we talked about are
It is important to try to stay as healthy as possible
as we are facing the second challenge in terms of fires that occur.
The North Coast News asks, “How is the recruiting process for the new one going
Health officer, status update? “
Well, actually they are not
involved in that process and therefore you probably need to check
with County Employee Services or Human
Resources department, I assume.
The North Coast News asks, “What are your expectations in the coming weeks for the following COVID case numbers
Labor Day weekend saw the increase that many counties saw
after Memorial Day weekend? ”
Well, obviously we’re always worried
on this, there, you both know why people
sometimes they travel more during those times,
visiting friends and relatives outside the area where the risk of exposure may be uniform
higher than it is locally, or bringing people to visit whoever can
introduce the virus in the community, as well as in meetings. So I hope
that people were smart and really thought about theirs
friends and neighbors and limited activities that are
you know risky, like rallies and travels
But I guess we’ll be watching the next two or three weeks to see what
The Times-Standard asks: “were
there are events, crowded beaches, great Labor Day BBQ,
college student parties on Labor Day weekend
sparked concern over the spread of COVID-19? “
So I’m not aware of individual events. I know it
that there were certainly events over the weekend, but I don’t have many
details on individual ones. Once again you know that all we can do is
it’s really just asking local residents to be responsible for each other
and the way we are able to move forward, the way we are able to maintain
our business community that operates the way we are able to
get children to go to school and keep our health system safe,
we have all the tools to do it. We just have to choose to use them and I am
hoping people were hugging him over the weekend.
The Times-Standard asks: “What advice is the JIC
provide residents how to be safe during the big Halloween holidays,
Are Thanksgiving and Christmas Coming? ”
So it’s a
a really good question, and we actually ask the state to provide some
a guide first of all on Halloween because it is
you know it happened to us before long.
Obviously we’re trying to see how to shape all of our normal celebrations
in a way more consistent with COVID prevention.
So just like we’ve said so far this year, for the most part this means
really trying not to attract family from other areas
state or country, really trying not to travel to those who are outside
areas where you could put these individuals at risk
and really trying to limit meetings.
we recognize the fact that this is difficult to do for a long time
and that some people socialize a little outside the home.
My request to people is that they really try to limit it and use your knowledge outdoors as much as possible,
small groups of four to six people. You know when we start to gather bigger
groups the probability that someone in that group
it is COVID positive and may not know it is increasing
and therefore your risk also increases. So really,
you know, we really want to make sure people try to use everything
those tools and during the holidays we will
advising people more about this. We are organizing some local meetings
about Halloween and how it could be here and
we will post more information about them as they develop.
The Redheaded Blackbelt asks,
“When a new health manager takes the helm, there will be an opportunity for that
person to reassess the amount and type of information to which the public is authorized
have, in particular relating to the current case
current count and hospitalization rates? ”
Well, sure, I mean new health
The agent has the opportunity to rephrase many things about what we do
and certainly during the event I would say that you know us
they have changed significantly from what we
has begun to be able to report and what we are reporting now, and so
I think you know as the whole thing evolves, it is likely to change
regardless of who is at the helm.
I want to emphasize again
although that is if people are interested in some kind of hospitalization
numbers in this, we are not reproducing them,
but them, we are linking on our website, on our dashboard
to the state site that contains all that data. So it is
basically very easy for people to see it in real time
and then we’re not reproducing those numbers
in addition to that.
The Redheaded Blackbelt asks,
“Humboldt County will be able to offer the new COVID saliva test,
which is capable of returning reliable results in about 30 minutes,
the quick point-of-care test that is made available
in the Bay Area? If so, when and how will the test landscape change,
and if not, why not? ”
Well, again, it’s kind of a wild west in
test at this time. There are so many new tests
flooding the market and becomes a real challenge
actually examine the individual tests and their performance and what the
appropriate place to use such tests. For example, you could use a test that is
less sensitive in some screening situations, but you
I don’t want to use it for example in tests
people who are largely asymptomatic or in a high-risk environment such as an experienced nurse
service, structure. So the tools you use may change
time with this pandemic.
Basically the compromise is often that
you who take a quick test gives you less
sensitivity, which means you may not be picking up the virus
if it is present, especially in low numbers, and this
is definitely something we see with, for example,
rapid saliva tests where sensitivity
it appears to be lower overall and therefore the trade-off is
you are more inclined, chances are you can catch people who have a lot of viruses
on board in the airways, in the throat,
nose, but you won’t catch people who don’t have much
active virus present. The argument for using the saliva test
is that you will probably be more likely
to pass on to someone else if you have a large viral load, then a
it captures those individuals less, but it’s a constant compromise.
here is actually having really sturdy, high quality,
highly sensitive tests available to all in
in good time, you know you will be able to get that result within a day or two
ideally. And if we do, there probably isn’t that much role
for attempting to perform some of the rapid point of care tests. These too,
for example saliva tests, are typically tests that must be performed by a laboratory or
done with the lab staff there rather than something at home.
again i guess all i can say is that it is
likely to change over time, what we adapt and use, depends on the situation in which
we are dealing with a large number of cases simultaneously,
being able to do some basic screenings might be you know, what we can do
and what makes sense. At this moment what makes sense for us is to try to do ours
high quality testing and we will see how this pilot project in the Bay Area works.
The Redheaded Blackbelt asks, “Are you aware of a potential super spreader
events that took place locally over the Labor Day weekend? “
I’m not aware of any specific events right now, but I’d say it
actually the way these events are often identified is after the fact.
So when we start getting cases and identifying where people have been and what
they did, that’s how we identify a party or
collection or some kind of event, and then as the case numbers increase
we understand it’s a super spreader event. So, in ours
for example, it would be something we will probably identify
after the fact compared to, for example, a very large planned event that
we know in advance – Sturgis comes to mind – where you could
anticipate that it would be a major shedding event.
The Lost Coast Outpost asks: “Do the common face coverings that people do
Does wearing them these days protect them from the health risks of smoke inhalation? ”
Well, unfortunately, I don’t expect people’s cloth masks to provide that
protection level, typically a higher grade mask
which actually can do it like an N95. Thank you.
The Lost Coast Outpost asks,
“Humboldt County now has nearly 400 residents who have recovered from COVID-19. Am I able to donate plasma locally?
We do not collect plasma locally, from area cases, although this is always a potential down the road. However, the blood bank here is able to access the convalescents
plasma promptly within 24 hours for local residents who need it right now.
Thanks so much. I just wanted
to mention that we do it now, because we are dealing
with both the pandemic and the fire,
there are really two separate information centers
that work and so if people have questions related to COVID,
as they know they can call 441-5000 for this information.
If it is a fire question, the number to call is 268-2500