Humboldt Information

Updated 6-15-2020

Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich has updated the county's travel guide to include non-essential travel.

However, Public Health is advising county residents to refrain from visiting areas with high cases of COVID-19 and that residents who do travel should quarantine or isolate themselves for 14 days after returning to the county, as traveling increases people's exposure to COVID-19.

Check out Updated Travel Guidance here.

Updated 5-14-2020

From the Humboldt Joint Information Center: Phase 2 sheltering in place

The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services (OES) today is launching an online portal for businesses to submit a Reopening Plan in preparation for a gradual lifting of California’s Stay-at-Home Order.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that statewide restrictions on shopping malls, dine-in restaurants and some office spaces would ease somewhat, but the state will still require businesses to have a worksite specific plan in place before reopening.

While reopening will occur in stages based on the state’s timelines, completing a local Reopening Plan now is a step businesses can take in advance to be ready to open, while at the same time protecting the health and safety of employees and customers.

Business Certification Process Guidance

All businesses are encouraged to prepare a plan and apply for certification. However, priority will be given to businesses that are currently open to the public such as grocery stores. Retail businesses open to delivery and curbside pickup only may apply to open their buildings to the public with state mandated protocols and precautions in place, but the timing of additional reopenings is dependent on state approval of the county’s expanded Stage Two plan and local approval by the County Health Officer. Supply chains that have opened to support these businesses, in the manufacturing and logistics sectors, will also need to apply to remain open.

Business owners and employers can utilize the online portal as follows:

Navigate to

The information business owners and employers will need to complete the plan is included on the form for each sector, along with text boxes to briefly outline how state and local requirements will be incorporated into the specific facility’s plan. Completion of the form will take about 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the sector. To assist in filling out the Reopening Plan form, samples have been provided here:

The COVID Business Information Line can be reached at 707-268-2527. Contact information for the OES Business Task Force and links to other helpful business resources are available online at

For general information about COVID-19, please contact the Joint Information Center at 707-441-5000 or

Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19,

Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19,

Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19, and

Humboldt Health Alert:

Updated 4-27-2020

Face masks/coverings now mandatory in Humboldt County:

The Humboldt County Health Officer has issued a Health Order requiring the use of facial coverings to further manage the spread of COVID-19. The order will be in effect starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday, April 24, and until it is modified or rescinded by the Health Officer.

The Order states people must wear a facial covering before they enter:

  • Any indoor facility except for their own residence

  • Any enclosed space

  • Any outdoor space where individuals are unable to maintain at all times a distance of six feet from others.

“Facial coverings are meant to protect the public from the user in case the user is infected and not yet displaying symptoms,” the order states. “Facial coverings used in conjunction with physical distancing of at least six feet and frequent hand washing may reduce the risk of transmission.” Read the full order here:

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said requiring facial coverings in public is a necessary first step as shelter-in-place restrictions are eased and movement increases within our community. “Your facial covering protects me and my facial covering protects you,” she said. “Having everyone using facial coverings will help to make us all safer as we move forward.”

Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said, “This is the key step in reopening our businesses while continuing to protect the members of our community from the virus. Local law enforcement will be actively engaged in educating the public on the importance of facial coverings.”

Facial coverings should not be placed on children under the age of 2, people who have difficulty breathing or anyone who cannot remove the material without assistance.

Community members are asked not to purchase medical grade surgical or N95 respirator masks, which should be reserved for health care workers. Facial coverings should be regularly washed and sanitized, or changed, and wearers are advised to wash their hands after touching or adjusting their facial coverings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers these facial covering guidelines:

  • fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face

  • is secured with ties or ear loops

  • includes multiple layers of fabric

  • allows for breathing without restriction

  • is able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

Updated April 2nd 2020

Shelter in Place – Order of the Health Officer FAQ

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich issued an updated Health Order further clarifying and enhancing the Shelter in Place requirements for county residents

The updated order addresses county residents’ concerns regarding tourists visiting the area, prohibiting short-term rental properties, including hotels, vacation rentals and campgrounds, from renting to non-County residents.

Additionally, the order further limits activity in parks and other outdoor recreational areas that facilitate public gathering.

The order clarifies the definition of essential businesses, recognizing those businesses that support the County’s response to COVID-19 and eliminating the exemption for businesses that “supply products which would enhance the quality of life.”

This updated order will remain in effect until rescinded by the Health Officer.

Read the updated order here.

A copy of the previous order with changes red-lined is available for review here.

When does this Health Order become effective? This Order goes into effect at 12 a.m. on March 20, 2020 and will continue to in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 9, 2020, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Health Officer.

What does this Order do? This order requires that most people stay home starting no later than 12:01 a.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020, unless they are engaged in certain “Essential Activities” which are discussed more below. For most people, this means that you and the people you live with should remain at home. You are allowed to leave your home for specified reasons to make sure you have necessities such as food and medical supplies. You are also allowed to go outside to take care of pets, go on a walk, and just to get outside, so long as you do not congregate in a group and maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other people. If you are sick you should self-isolate, including, to the extent you can, from others you live with.

What does it mean to “shelter in place”? The term “shelter in place” means to stay in your home and not leave unless necessary for one of the designated exceptions listed in the Order.

What is the difference between “sheltering in place” and “social distancing”? Sheltering in place is a more stringent form of social distancing.

Sheltering in place means: Stay home and only go out for “essential activities,” to work for an “essential business,” or for “essential travel” as those terms are defined in the Order.

Social distancing means: Stay six feet or more away from others and do not attend or participate in public or private gatherings.

Am I allowed to leave my home while this Order is in effect? The intent of this Order is to ensure that people remain in their residences and minimize social interactions outside of their immediate family unit. You may leave your residence for reasons specified in the Order.

What activities are considered essential? Getting necessary services or supplies for yourself and your family, household members, and pets, or delivering services or supplies to others. For example, you can purchase food, medicine, pet food and supplies, and other household consumer products, and items that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.

School & Education:

Humboldt Office of Education: "This page is a resource for families and school administrators regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As long as we are able, updates and school closure information will be posted here. You can also find information on HCOE’s official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages."

Kids need food? The Humboldt County Office of Education maintains a list of pickup spots for free meals for children. Find it here. For a complete list of all districts meal times and distribution locations, please visit our website at this link. Please note many districts continue to modify their distribution efforts in order to meet the greatest needs of the community and as such, this page will continue to be updated to reflect any changes.

School Closures: All Humboldt County school campuses are currently closed. The Humboldt County Office of Education is keeping a list of them, including provisional reopening dates. Find it at this link.

4/02/2020: The Humboldt County Office of Education reminds us that local school boards will make the ultimate decision about how far to extend their current campus closures. Could be potentially through the end of the 19/20 school year.

Local Updates:

The City of Arcata is monitoring COVID-19 and is working with, and following all recommended guidelines from, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services.

The spread of COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation, and the City is dedicated to keeping the community safe and informed during this unprecedented time.

Updated information regarding COVID-19 will be provided here and on the homepage of this website as it becomes available. Please scroll down for local updates, information and resources.

The City is actively working with Humboldt County health agencies to protect the community, prepare for more local cases and assist in maintaining the health and safety of our region.

    • Please click here for the latest updates from the City of Arcata.

    • Please click here for the latest updates from the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services or to sign up to receive Humboldt County Health Alerts.

    • Community members may contact the County directly by emailing or calling 707-441-5000.

    • For medical advice or questions about testing, contact Public Health by emailing or calling 707-445-6200.

    • For updates from Humboldt State University, please click here.

    • For updates from Del Norte County, click here.

    • For more information on COVID-19 and the State of California’s response, click here.

Local Actions:

Public health measures are in now place to more quickly identify potential new cases of COVID-19, and the City will support the region to prevent the infection from spreading. Local and regional health care providers are ready to respond to additional cases of COVID-19.

The County is taking steps to ensure our local health care system is ready to respond effectively if needed and to ensure front-line health professionals have current information about the virus so they can take recommended actions and promptly report suspected cases to public health officials.

The Humboldt County Joint Information Center will now provide daily updates about local COVID-19 testing capabilities and results. The information will be updated Monday through Saturday and will be posted here.

We Need Your Help to Contain COVID-19

Individuals and businesses all have a role to play in reducing the spread of this virus in Arcata by implementing good hygiene practices, vigilant cleaning in shared spaces, home-stays for sick employees, implementing physical distancing practices and by staying at home.

Stay at Home

In the strictest response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States so far, the Governor has ordered all California residents to shelter in place until further notice. This order is to ensure the maximum number of people self-isolate to the greatest extent possible, while allowing essential services to continue, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

California residents may leave their homes to seek or provide essential services such as obtaining medical care or supplies, grocery shopping, refilling prescriptions and caring for an ill family member. Those who leave their homes are expected to maintain social distancing guidelines and keep a distance of 6 feet away from those not in their household.

For answers to frequently asked questions about essential services pertaining to this order, please click here.

Click here to see the order in its entirety.

Failure to comply with any provisions of this order constitutes an imminent threat to public health. The order carries the force of law and breaking it could result in a misdemeanor.

Hours before the State issued order, the Humboldt County Department of Public Health put an order in place that directs all individuals living in Humboldt County to shelter in place beginning midnight, Friday, March 20.

Given that the San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19 with extensive community spread, Humboldt County recognizes the imminent threat presented to the public’s health.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the County order, click here. To read the county order in full, click here.

For more information from Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services about this order and more, please click here.

What is Social Distancing and How is it Achieved?

Social distancing or physical distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of contagious diseases. It requires the creation of physical space between individuals who may spread certain infectious diseases. The key is to minimize the number of gatherings as much as possible and to achieve space between individuals when activities cannot be modified, postponed or cancelled.

Achieving space between individuals of approximately six feet is advisable to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Personal Preparation:

Public health officials are encouraging households to create a COVID-19 action plan and recommend the following:

  • Speak with family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in Arcata and how you can support each other.

  • Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications. This includes practical steps like ensuring you have sufficient medication and determining what supplies are needed, and if they can be delivered.

  • Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support and resources.

  • Create an emergency contact list.

  • Practice good personal health habits and plan for home-based actions.

  • Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy, if possible.

  • Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible.

  • Devise a plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick.

  • Be prepared in the case that your child’s school or childcare facility is temporarily dismissed.

  • Plan for potential changes at your workplace.

  • Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan.

  • Ask about what sick-leave policies and telework options are available for you if needed.

Click here for more information provided by the CDC.

Travel Recommendations:

It is recommended that all community members minimize nonessential travel during this time.

High-risk travel is no longer limited to international destinations.

Any travel to areas with community level transmission presents opportunities for exposure to COVID-19. All travelers to these areas, whether international or domestic, should be self-quarantining, which means staying at home except for accessing needed health care, for at least 14 days upon return.

    • Three recent flights may represent a possible exposure for COVID-19 infection, either because an individual on board has become a confirmed case or because a close contact whose test is pending was on board.

        • 3/16/20: United Flight #5827 from Los Angeles Airport to Arcata

        • 3/18/20: DeltaFlight #4124 from Seattle to Medford

        • 3/18/20: United Flight #5555 from San Francisco Airport to Arcata

It is important that individuals on these flights quarantine at home for 14 days after their flight and contact Public Health or their health care provider if they become ill with fever, cough or shortness of breath or other symptoms of concern.

This act of quarantining is critically important during this period, as we have yet to see clear community transmission in Humboldt County. It will help to slow transmission within our community, reduce risk for our most vulnerable residents and will lessen the impact on our health care system. This tool, in addition to sheltering in place, helps everyone remain healthy.

Please click here to find the CDC’s current travel notices.

Returning to Arcata:

All travelers, whether international or domestic, should be self-quarantining, which means staying at home except for accessing needed health care, for at least 14 days upon returning to Arcata.

Call a healthcare provider for follow-up testing if:

  • You feel ill after returning or experience COVID-19 symptoms.

  • You were in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • You were in a health-care facility in an affected country, including the United States.

Please follow these precautions even if feeling well:

  • Stay at home, and avoid close contact with others.

  • Avoid close contact with other people, especially those with chronic conditions, a compromised immune system or seniors.

  • Do not attend work, school, social events or any other public gatherings.

  • Watch for symptoms like fever, cough or shortness of breath in yourself or family members.

  • Call a healthcare provider at the first sign of symptoms. Make arrangements to see a doctor from home before going to a health care facility, unless severely ill.

  • If severely ill and in need of immediate medical attention call 911 and inform them that you may have COVID-19.