As of March 8, Whatcom County has had a total of 6,858 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic and 159 probable cases (7,017 total cases), according to Washington State Department of Health (DOH) data. The number of deaths remains at 83 and the percent of deaths per total confirmed cases is 1.2 percent.
Four school districts rose in case rates, while two dropped and one remained the same. Nooksack Valley school district area had the highest rate of new cases in the past two weeks, with 524 confirmed cases per 100,000 people followed by Lynden (425), Mount Baker (272), Ferndale (251), Blaine (165), Meridian (149), and Bellingham (96). Bellingham’s case rate is the first time a county school district has been double digits since the start of the year.
The county expects 2,370 first doses and 2,600 second doses this week, according to health department data published March 9. Last week, the county received 12,630 first doses, making this week’s shipment less than 20 percent of last week's. The county also received 1,900 second doses last week, 73 percent of what’s expected this week. Of the total first doses, the county expects 1,200 of them to be the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which only needs one dose to be fully effective.
About 8.9 percent of county residents are fully vaccinated and 18.4 percent have received at least one shot, according to the health department. The health department reports that 41,569 county residents have received their first shot and 20,128 are fully vaccinated.
Erika Lautenbach, Whatcom County Health Department director, said during a March 8 Whatcom County Council meeting that 20,000 seniors in the county still need be vaccinated.
Statewide, 2,065,762 vaccine doses have been administered, with 388,975 doses administered in the past week. About 751,127 people in Washington have received two doses of the vaccine and 1,308,248 have received one dose.
In the past seven days, the state has averaged administering 45,380 vaccines daily, surpassing its goal to vaccinate 45,000 people daily.
Washington state has had 326,404 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic and 19,999 probable cases (probable cases come from an antigen test). In all, 5,077 people in Washington with the virus have died as of March 8 and 19,692 have been hospitalized.
The county health department will host a vaccine town hall to update residents on vaccine efforts at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 18 on Whatcom County’s YouTube channel, WhatcomCountyGov, at bit.ly/3tanRij.