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Humboldt Health officials urge residents to continue testing for COVID | Lost coastal outpost

The number of residents testing for COVID-19 has dropped significantly in recent months as the vaccination rate rises, prompting health officials to insist on continuing testing.

“Testing is crucial to reducing the spread of disease in the community,” said Hava Phillips, a public health clinic and head of the Infectious Diseases Program. “It’s much easier to spread a disease when you don’t know you have it.”

Humboldt County testing is available free of charge seven days a week (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at Redwood Acres in Eureka and is also available at various locations in the county every weekday. Walks are welcome on all sites, and the time to complete the results is an average of 48 to 72 hours. See the full schedule below:

  • Eureka ̵
    1; Seven days a week, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Redwood Acres, 3750 Harris St.)
  • Arcata – Monday, 8:00 to 17:30 (Chitalishte Arcata, 321 MLK Jr. Pkwy.)
  • Garberville – Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (SoHum Health Sprowl Creek Campus, 286 Sprowl Creek Road)
  • Fortuna – Wednesday, 8:00 to 17:30 (River Lodge Conference Center, 1800 Riverwalk Drive)
  • Hupa – Thursday, 9:00 to 15:30 (Tsewenaldin Inn, 12482 CA-96)
  • McKinleyville – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Azalea Hall, 1620 Pickett Road).

To plan, go to lhi.care/covidtesting or call 888-634-1123.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), early data suggest that vaccines may work against some options, but may be less effective against others. There are currently five dangerous options in California that are thought to be more contagious or likely to cause major illness or serious illness, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Also, while COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing people from getting COVID-19, the CDC is still learning how well their vaccines prevent them from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if they have no symptoms.

In addition, a major concern among public health officials is that a vaccine-resistant option will be developed “before we can take it under control,” Phillips said.

“Viruses mutate easily, and if the mutations are significant enough, they can create a new variant,” she said, explaining that anyone with COVID-19 can have viruses with several different mutations. “But if people know they’re sick and left isolated, then none of these mutations have a chance to spread to anyone else, and the chance of a new variant decreases.”

New variants are being discovered by looking at the virus found in the positive tests. “When people are not tested, it takes longer to find that new variants are spreading, which slows down research and response,” Phillips said.

Fully vaccinated people should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19, especially after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, the CDC said. If symptoms develop, all people – 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 covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.

Some Safeway and CVS pharmacy sites offer COVID-19 vaccination appointments. See if there are meetings for your age group or sector in one of these locations by clicking on the links below.

Safeway: https://www.mhealthappointments.com/covidappt

CVS Pharmacy: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine?icid=cvs-home-hero1-link2-coronavirus-vaccine.

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