Individuals, Families & Households

Last updated: Friday, February 19, 2021 at 4:59 p.m. 

This is the latest guidance for individuals, families, and households to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Whatcom County.


Social Gatherings

Starting January 11, 2021, Washington State is following a regional recovery approach. On February 12, 2021 the Governor announced the North Region, which includes Whatcom County, will move into Phase 2 effective Monday, Feb. 14.

During Phase 2: 

  • Indoor social and at-home gatherings can include a maxim of five (5) people from outside your household, with a limit of 2 households.
    • Mask use and social distancing should continue during these gatherings.
  • Outdoor gatherings are allowed with up to fifteen (15)people from outside your household, with a limit of 2 households.
    • Mask use and social distancing should continue during these gatherings. 

For more about the approach, read how it works, and get the full details.  

Healthy WA Roadmap Phases Opens in new window

Visit Washington State’s Safer Gatherings Page for more information. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also developed the COVID-19 Travel Planner page, a centralized location of COVID-19 information for domestic travelers throughout the holiday season.


Assessing Your Risk

Each of us assesses risks differently. When it comes to COVID-19, the risks you take affect you personally, and they also affect your community. Each decision you make about what activities to participate requires thinking through risk factors.  Read our June 25 news flash, How safe is it? A guide to COVID-19 risk, for guidance on assessing your risk. 

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What to Do if You Are Sick or Have Been Exposed

See our Frequently Asked Questions page for information on what to do if you are sick with COVID-19 or think you may have been exposed to the virus.

Preventing COVID-19 Infection

Personal prevention habits are effective for preventing COVID-19 infection and help make community-wide actions more effectiveThese are important action steps everyone should take to protect their health:

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Financial Support

Many of us have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you, or someone you know, are in need of financial assistance, programs and resources are available.

What's Allowed

  • Under Phase 2 limited social gatherings and business activities are allowed. These changes go into effect on Monday February 15, 2021.
  • More information about what is open can be found here

Guidance for Specific Groups

People at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness

Those who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness should take extra precautions to prevent exposure to the virus.The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) define people at higher risk as:

  • People aged 65 years and older. Guidance on risk decision making for older adults is available in our news flash
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who have weakened immune systems, including those who have undergone cancer treatment
  • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40)
  • People with certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease
  • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness; however, data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk

Detailed guidance for people at higher risk is available from the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control

Caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home. Anyone who has questions about whether their condition puts them at risk for severe illness resulting from novel coronavirus should consult with their healthcare providers.

Guidance for Children and Families

Maternal and Child Health 

Supporting Youth Mental Health

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