Todays media availability features a slightly less-familiar (and properly masked) face: that of Dr. Josh Ennis, Humboldt Countys deputy health officer. He sat down to answer questions form regional reporters concerning the countys Alert Level Assessment Tool, a four-level ranking of our current COVID-19 risk, based upon the prevalence of cases, the capacity of our health care system and the effectiveness of the countys disease-control measures..
Were currently at Level 2, which indicates a moderate number of cases, most of which are from recognized sources..
Weve summed up the concerns and Dr. Enniss responses below, or you can enjoy the video above.
Level 1 is listed as the “new typical,” but a lot of signs across the country recommend the pandemic is far from over. Do you anticipate us to stay at Level 2 for a while, or are regional patterns suggesting well transfer to Level 1 in the near future? (0:20).
Ennis says that when staff explained Level 1 as the new typical, it was an acknowledgement “that the pandemic isnt going anywhere anytime soon and that we can anticipate things to be different for a long period of time.” That consists of hand-washing, social distancing and face covering.
The pandemic is nearing peak spread nationwide, and because Humboldt is not different from the remainder of the country, “I do not see us moving down any levels anytime in the near future,” Ennis states. “If anything I would say its a stable march toward escalating the illness, due to the fact that were not in a vacuum.”.
What would require us relocating to a Level 3 and even 4? (1:56).
There are a great deal of elements associated with figuring out which level were at. This tool enables staff to “systematically and methodically take a look at the very same things day-to-day, week-to-week so that were not missing out on anything,” Ennis states.
Its not as basic as a fixed picture of the present case count– drawing the line in between 10 and 11, state. New cases are getting identified routinely, but the countys healthcare resources (ventilators, health center beds, etc.) and Public Healths “efficiency of illness control”– which includes testing levels, contact tracing and more– likewise contribute.
Can you explain how transmission of the virus, in addition to the case count, impacts the alert level? (5:05).
Community transmission (when the source of the infection is not known) is “much more concerning than cases that are travel-related or via contact to a recognized case, Ennis states, because it indicates that there are “a lot more [cases] drifting out there.”.
Does this evaluation tool account for the countys regular hold-ups in getting screening results? (6:11).
When the results can be found in after someones recovered and had the disease, Public Health cant do much to manage the spread, Ennis says, so yes, thats taken into consideration..
Mendocino and Del Norte counties are experiencing large outbreaks. Should not the alert tool take into consideration the state of the pandemic regionally? (7:41).
Ennis states thats “a wonderful recommendation” and something personnel has thought of. And the alert tool does, in truth, enable for some vibrant ability to move in between levels based on whats happening around us.
When do you expect the “rise” to hit Humboldt, and what do you anticipate the fall influenza season to appear like? (9:16).
The simulation designs run early in the pandemic are extremely various from being able to forecast the future, Ennis says. The cumulative impact of hand-washing, masks and social distancing is hard to measure. “My viewpoint is that we can certainly anticipate to see a lot more cases in the fall and winter,” he says..
Its impossible to state whether well experience a surge that overwhelms health care centers, like in New York. Cases might go up and after that level off, he states. Our regional healthcare system “is a little bit of an island,” which means that a surge could potentially have “a destructive effect on our ability to take care of everyone who needs the care,” he says.
Can you provide a price quote for what percentage of regional cases, especially amongst the Latinx community, work as essential labor? What sort of jobs, particularly? (12:13).
Public Health is not tracking job info, though theyre looking to begin doing so. In basic, Latino-/ Hispanic-identifying groups work in lower-wage jobs, making it harder to shelter in place, he states. This group works more frequently in farming and construction, putting them at greater risk..
African-Americans and Latinos alike are suffering disproportionately. “The pandemic has actually drawn out longstanding health inequities,” Ennis states. COVID-19 preys upon people with hidden conditions, which these minority groups have more frequently.” [W] e all need to work harder to attempt to modify the course here,” he says.
The simulation models run early in the pandemic are very different from being able to forecast the future, Ennis states. Its difficult to say whether well experience a rise that overwhelms health care centers, like in New York. Cases might go up and then level off, he states. Our local health care system “is a bit of an island,” which suggests that a surge might potentially have “a disastrous effect on our capability to care for everyone who requires the care,” he states.
“The pandemic has actually brought out longstanding health inequities,” Ennis says.