It’s been quite a dramatic day for local bivalve fans!

Let’s catch you up. First came news that the 2019 Arcata Bay Oyster Festival might be canceled due to the discovery of unhealthy bacteria levels in local supplies. Then it was announced that the event was back on, but would proceed with an emergency shipment of replacement oysters shipped in from out of state. Now, finally, we find out that some jumbled numbers are to blame for the initial bad oysters assessment and, hey, there will be Humboldt Bay-sourced oysters at the event after all. OK!

In an attempt to explain how this all went down the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services has issued the following news release. In it, they note that a) Humboldt Bay oysters are fine to eat, b) math is hard, and c) Rex Bohn himself will be on the Plaza tomorrow manning a grill, so… there you go. Everything is as it previously was. You are free to oyster on:

The oysters are fine; the math was not


Public Health officials announced this morning that local oysters are safe to eat after a math error at the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory led to a brief closure of Humboldt Bay.

“We realize this couldn’t have come at a worse time, and we apologize for the upset it has caused,” said Laboratory Manager Jeremy Corrigan, who attributed the miscalculation to human error.

The mistake was discovered this morning during an internal review of the test results, and the California Department of Public Health was notified immediately. The state then determined that the oysters are safe to harvest and eat.

Humboldt County First District Supervisor Rex Bohn said he’ll be out on the Plaza tomorrow grilling fresh, local oysters.

Corrigan added that measures would be put in place to make sure mistakes like this one don’t happen again.

Tomorrow’s Oyster Fest is Rex-approved