With COVID-19 disease activity once again on the rise, we are publishing weekly COVID-19 Data Reports. In these reports, we will summarize publicly-available COVID-19 data, highlight significant information, and provide some context and details to help you understand what’s happening with COVID-19 in our community.
Each report will cover data for the week ending the previous Saturday. The topics we cover include:
You can find the weekly data report, plus additional data, on our data page at www.whatcomcounty.us/coviddata.
This week’s COVID-19 data highlights (Week from 8/15-8/21)
The 7-day case rate is 243 cases per 100,000 residents. There were 559 new cases reported in the week, with an average number of new cases per day similar to what we saw during the winter peak in January. Case rates are highest among people ages 25-44.
The 7-day rate for COVID-19 hospitalizations* has been increasing since July 4 and hit a high of 10.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. That rate nearly ties the second-highest hospitalization rate of the pandemic. During this reporting period, 25 Whatcom County residents were hospitalized for COVID-19.
Of the 559 confirmed cases reported during the week, we identified 147 that met the definition of a “breakthrough” case**. The 7-day case rate in unvaccinated residents was 428 per 100,000 people, and the 7-day rate in vaccinated residents was 110 per 100,000 people.
Among the total cases in Whatcom County, the proportion that were among fully-vaccinated residents increased over the previous week. However, the case rate among unvaccinated people remains significantly higher than the rate among fully-vaccinated people.
The rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations among vaccinated residents has increased since July 4. A total of 27 fully-vaccinated Whatcom County residents have ever been hospitalized for COVID-19. There were four fully-vaccinated people hospitalized for COVID-19 during the week this report covers.
A total of five Whatcom County residents have died due to COVID-19 who were fully-vaccinated. There were three deaths due to COVID-19 of fully-vaccinated people during the week this report covers. They were:
A man in his 80s.
A man in his 90s.
A man in his 50s.
*There are two hospitalization data points frequently reported. Both are important, but they measure different things.
COVID-19 Positive Patients (reported by PeaceHealth) – people who are hospitalized for any reason/diagnosis who have also tested positive for COVID-19. Their care requires COVID-19 protocols to prevent infection of others in the hospital, regardless of the severity of their illness.
- This number is helpful in understanding changes in our hospital’s COVID unit capacity, as caring for COVID-positive patients is resource-intensive.
COVID-19 Hospitalization Rate (reported by WCHD) – people who have tested positive (using a PCR test) for COVID-19 and have been hospitalized due to their COVID-19 illness. It does not include people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are hospitalized for other reasons (ex: heart attack, injuries).
- This number is helpful in understanding changes in disease severity over time.
**A breakthrough case is someone who becomes infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after they are fully vaccinated.