On July 12, Whatcom County reached its long sought-after milestone to have 70 percent of residents 16 and older become vaccinated. This comes as the first confirmed case of the Delta variant was detected in the county, according to a July 7 Washington State Department of Health (DOH) report.
The county is the fourth in Washington to meet the 70-percent mark for that age group, according to the Whatcom County Health Department.
“By working together, Whatcom County has reached this critical milestone for community health and economic recovery,” Whatcom County executive Satpal Sidhu said in a statement.
“We offer our thanks and gratitude to our health care providers who have given over 224,000 doses, our businesses who offered to serve as clinic locations and who provided incentives, and the countless volunteers who stepped up to help with vaccination. This achievement wouldn’t have been possible without them.”
In a media release, health department officials urged people 12 and older to continue getting vaccinated to protect the community against Covid-19 variants. This will help hospitalization rates stay low as the Delta variant is detected in Whatcom County, the health department said. Health professionals consider the Delta variant, detected in India last year, to spread more rapidly than other variants. The variant was first confirmed in Washington state in April.
Whatcom County has had a total of 9,593 confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to July 12 DOH data. The county had two deaths in the past week, making its death toll 105.
The county has had 483 hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic. PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital is treating three people with confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to PeaceHealth data.
Covid-19 case rates increased in Ferndale and Mount Baker school districts, while Lynden about halved its case rate to 51. Blaine school district decreased from 95 to 74 cases per 100,000 people last week. The school district has had six confirmed cases since last week. Meridian remains with no cases for the second week in a row.
As of July 11, 54.5 percent of all county residents are fully vaccinated and 5.3 percent are either waiting for their second dose or for the two weeks after receiving their last vaccine dose, according to the department. The department reports 124,271 county residents are fully vaccinated and 12,115 are in the process of becoming fully vaccinated.
Statewide, 7,964,881 vaccine doses have been administered. Right now, 51.3 percent of the state’s total population is fully vaccinated and 60.1 percent of people eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine are fully vaccinated.
Washington state has had 457,814 confirmed and probable cases since the start of the pandemic (the 38,211 probable cases came from an antigen test). In all, 6,022 people in Washington with the virus have died and 25,950 have been hospitalized.
For more Whatcom County information, visit whatcomcounty.us/covidvaccine and whatcomcounty.us/coviddata. State information is available at bit.ly/3r2URJj. Vaccine locations can be found at bit.ly/3nZiMqr. For CDC data, visit bit.ly/39Kt4qh.
Correction: The print version of this article incorrectly stated 70 percent of Whatcom County residents 16 and older were fully vaccinated. Seventy percent Whatcom County residents 16 and older are in the process of becoming vaccinated and 64.2 percent are fully vaccinated.