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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: October 8, 2021

Whatcom County COVID-19 Update for 10/8/21

In these updates, we will include news and updates, summarize publicly-available COVID-19 and vaccination data, and provide some context and details to help you understand what’s happening with COVID-19 in our community.

Each update will cover data for the week ending the previous Saturday. You can find the weekly data report, plus additional data, on our data page at www.whatcomcounty.us/coviddata.

General updates

Pfizer has requested that their COVID-19 vaccine receive Emergency Use Authorization for use by children aged 5-11. The FDA is scheduled to review Pfizer’s proposal on October 26. We will provide updates on the authorization process as soon as we have more information to share. 

COVID-19 data highlights (week of 9/26 - 10/2)

This update focuses on COVID-19 data through the previous Saturday. We have to wait for complete data from a variety of sources, so our data reports will always cover the previous week. You can find the weekly data report, plus additional data, on our data page

Cases. Whatcom County continued to see elevated cases: 

  • 466 new cases were reported in the week. The 7-day average count for confirmed and probable cases was 67 per day.
  • The 14-day case rate was 404 per 100,000 people, or 921 total cases over 14 days. 
  • Case counts rose slightly from the previous reporting week.
  • Across sub-county areas, the Lynden area continues to see a higher case rate than other areas, even with a downward trend during this reporting week; the greatest proportional decreases in local case rates were observed in Ferndale and Blaine. Meanwhile, cases in Nooksack Valley increased.
  • Case rates among people aged 18-24 rose sharply over the reporting week. While rates in adults older than 25 continued to decline, the 25-44 age group continued to have much higher rates than older age groups. Cases in school-age children (5-17) make up 25% of all cases.
  • The 7-day weekly case rate among unvaccinated residents in Whatcom County remains almost 4 times higher than the equivalent rate among fully-vaccinated residents.

Hospitalizations. During this reporting period, 22 Whatcom County residents were hospitalized because of COVID-19; 18 were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. This number includes 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).

Deaths. During this reporting period, there were eight deaths due to COVID-19:

  • one unvaccinated female, 80-89
  • two unvaccinated females, 90-99
  • two unvaccinated males, 70-79
  • one vaccinated female, 60-69
  • one vaccinated male, 60-69
  • one vaccinated male, 90-99

According to the Sept. 15 report from the Washington State Department of Health, unvaccinated individuals 65 and older are more than 8 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals 65 and older. (More explanation is planned for an upcoming report.)

Vaccination progress (week of 9/26)

Data. As of October 4, 60.5% of all Whatcom County residents have been fully vaccinated, and 75.4% of everyone who’s eligible, which includes all residents 12 and older, has gotten at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccination is our best defense against COVID-19. With winter holidays right around the corner, it’s extra important to finish vaccination if you’ve started, and to start vaccination if you haven’t. The best way to protect yourself and the people you love from this virus is by getting vaccinated before visiting. 

If one of your family members is eligible for the vaccine but hasn’t gotten vaccinated yet, gently encourage them to get vaccinated and offer them support if they need it. The CDC has tips for navigating sensitive conversations about COVID-19 vaccines. 

Boosters. If you’re wondering whether or not you’re eligible for a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, we maintain a list of who’s currently eligible, including people who should get a booster as soon as they can and people who are permitted to get one if they want one. 

Pop-ups. You can get vaccinated for COVID-19 at most places you’d go for a flu vaccine, like grocery stores, pharmacies and healthcare clinics. In addition to these, there are a number of pop-up clinics happening all over the county next week:

  • Acme Fire Hall
    • Wednesday, Oct. 13, 
    • 2036 Valley Hwy, Acme
    • Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
    • Vaccine recipients get $25 gift cards! Sorry, booster doses aren’t eligible for gift cards. 
    • Appointments aren’t required but if you’d like one you can sign up here: https://bit.ly/3lq0Rei  
  • PeaceHealth Cordata Clinic
    • Wednesday, Oct. 13, 9am-noon AND 1-4pm
    • Thursday, Oct. 14, 1-4pm
    • Friday, Oct. 15, 9am-noon AND 1-4pm
    • 4545 Cordata Pkwy, Bellingham
    • Pfizer
    • Flu vaccines offered here, too! You can get both at the same time.
    • While demand for booster doses is high, PeaceHealth will be giving vaccinations by appointment only. Appointments are available to everyone, you don’t need to be an established patient to sign up: https://bit.ly/2ZJILvn.
  • East Whatcom Regional Resource Center
    • Thursday, Oct. 14, 3-7pm
    • 8251 Kendall Rd, Maple Falls
    • Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
    • Antigen tests offered here too! Not for travel.
  • Lynden Middle School Gym
    • Friday, Oct. 15, 3-7pm
    • 516 Main St, Lynden
    • Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
    • Antigen tests offered here too! Not for travel.
    • $15 Bordertown Mexican Grill food credit for people who get their first or second doses! 
  • Glenhaven Lakes Club
    • Saturday, Oct. 16, 10am-1pm
    • 2997 Glenhaven Dr, Sedro Woolley
    • Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson
    • $25 gift cards for vaccine recipients (first and second dose only).
    • Appointments aren't required but if you'd like one you can sign up here: https://bit.ly/3FtTg6v  

COVID-19 vaccination continues to be the most effective preventive measure we can take against the virus. You’re much more likely to get really sick or infect someone else if you aren’t vaccinated. Find a provider near you at WhatcomCounty.US/CovidVaccine, or at VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov.

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