Still working beyond full-time as the county searches for its replacement, Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich sat down once again to answer questions from the media.
Below you will find a list of questions and a computer-generated transcript of his answers.
The North Coast News asks, “Do you believe?
regular tests should be carried out on school employees and / or students
and who would be responsible for the cost? “
Well, people may be aware that the CDPH has provided guidance with theirs
school document on the recommendation of some surveillance tests. At the time they were recommending
testing about 50 [members] of school staff each month, so 1
Test of this type became a file
little controversial and I think the reason is why,
you can imagine, if an employee is tested once every two months, the
likelihood that you will catch them when they have an infection
is less than if you test more frequently
or specific for symptoms or exposures.
That said, I think there is some value in doing surveillance testing
and we have the ability to do it and we can do it for free.
So we certainly noticed the schools and helped
our Optum site to bring tests in some places so that the staff
could be tested.
It is not necessary to do this in this case
time. But I certainly believe it as we do
develop our collection system and test strategy locally, ours
capacity will increase and I hope schools will benefit
themselves of this, just as I am encouraging everyone to participate
our community needs to be tested regularly in order to have that information.
And if we detect someone positive, we can respond promptly.
The North Coast News asks: “After tracing the contacts,
which age group, from 0 to 9 or from 10 to 19,
seemed to show a higher rate of spread of the virus, and you can talk about each one
symptoms and group recovery? “
So, this is an interesting question. I would say right away that in most of our pediatric cases, the baby has
it was not the initial case. So there was usually a file
contact of an adult who was positive and the child was subsequently exposed and infected
and is typically detected through case investigation.
Children, as we all know, tend to be more likely to be asymptomatic
or have very few symptoms compared to older individuals.
And so if it weren’t for those case investigations, we might not identify ourselves
some of these cases because the children would not
necessarily come to the doctor. So we haven’t had any hospitalizations for
appointment in an individual under the age of 20.
KMUD asks: “Dr. Frankovich, can you share a test update?”
Well, we are continuing to work with our North Coast Test Partnership
develop this regional testing strategy. Things are going really well.
Again, what we are planning is to establish
our collection entity for Humboldt County and also in Del Norte
making sure we serve our Tribal partners as well.
We are putting that picture together at the same time as the
even a piece of the workshop was put together. We’ve received
the Perkin-Elmer equipment in the UIHS laboratory. I think we are
waiting for the last two pieces and putting all the other tools together.
I’m sure people can imagine, it’s a rather complicated process, both us and us
we have to put in place the laboratory test capacity, the collection capacity and then we too
have the information system to support it.
So we need to have a platform where
people can make their own appointment,
and where they can access the results e
in a timely manner and in order to obtain the other information they need.
So basically the team got together often to put this all together
and we’re still trying to get it up and running this fall.
KMUD News asks: “Is there any information you can share about the recent
deaths in Humboldt County in connection with COVID-19? “
Well, I think we posted the information at the time this was
individuals over the age of 65 and this is indeed the information we need
share right now.
KMUD News asks: “It’s you
worried about a Coronavirus outbreak among the firefighters? “
Well I’m always worried when we get people together,
and in any place, and certainly when we will gather the firefighters from
many different areas, both in other states and within the state.
So yes, it is a concern.
At the same time I know
CalFIRE and other entities have really worked hard on the protocols
on how to do it as safely as possible, both in terms of how
firefighters are housed, how they are managed if they get sick e
how can we speed up testing to help in that scenario.
So I think we are operating as safely as possible under the circumstances.
The Two Rivers Tribune asks, “Crunch the numbers and start the county
to understand the impacts the virus has produced in Humboldt County,
what would our overall grade be in the report? “
Well, I think we’re doing really well.
That said, we are in the orange level and
this is compared to many of our counties in California.
From this point of view we are doing very well. Those in red and purple
Tier obviously need to be more restrictive in what they can
do and have to do with a lot more in
terms of outbreak in the number of cases. So I feel lucky in that.
At the same time, I would like us to be at the least restrictive level. I’d like us
be in yellow. I think it’s important to let people
you know … every week on Tuesdays
the state will release data based on what level you would fall into
that week. And so our numbers actually for
this reference period, which ended on 12 September, therefore the
state data is overdue, that would take us
at a case rate of 4.3 per 100,000, which it actually would
put us in the red layer based on that metric.
In order to actually move
in the red level, you must be there for at least two weeks.
Fortunately for us, our data for last week, the week ending 19, looks like
better, at least now. Additional test
results are added into the status reporting system over time, so we are
never completely certain until the date of the report. But now it is
So I don’t expect we’ll go red
Level anytime soon. But I think we need everyone
note that and take appropriate measures,
that is: if we want to keep where we are or
also, at best, to improve, we must embrace all these measures
we talked about so that we can really keep ours
lively business community and so you can have children in
The tribune of the two rivers
asks, “The numbers keep rising slowly. What do you think is the biggest threat
broadcast how people know more now than in the beginning how
to protect themselves and others? “
Well, I think we are learning as we go and I think the rehearsals have really been
accumulating on the importance and effectiveness of using the face
coatings. And I’m sorry that at the beginning this is it
I didn’t understand him well, and we weren’t hugging him either
And I think that made it difficult
for people because I still hear people saying: well, al
At first everyone said: don’t use them.
And I just want to point out that we are learning about this virus in real time.
We are watching what happens and in the best scientific way,
we’re actually trying things out, looking at what successes people have achieved
different measures and then implement the things that make the file
more sensible. This is what we do.
And I think what we have learned is this
the use of face liners is actually really helpful.
So I’m really encouraged by seeing the number of people that
we’ve really embraced it here, and I think we can do better on that front, and
I think it will help us. I also think, travel and gatherings … it is an infection factor in the state, and I think we really need it,
as demanding as the social part of this is,
we really need to try to reduce that gathering.
Because these really impact what is happening in our community.
We previously talked about a large gathering of about 50 people,
and I think I mentioned at the time, we reported we had about 22
subsequent cases relating to that case. That number is now over 30.
And so it’s just talking about the problem you can’t predict in advance
what rallies will turn out to be that kind of super spreaders
of the event. And so the safest thing is not to hold
And I would encourage people if they really did
they are about to reunite with others, this is also a small group.
Again, speaking of maybe six people, not 20 people, and that it’s outdoors,
and that people are far away and this
they don’t share food. So bring people together – a small group
in your backyard, outdoors, distances are obviously a lot
safer than having people in the house,
sharing a meal around a table where you are much more likely to be going
spread the infection. If any of those present are sick and
He does not know.