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. To find video versions of these updates in both English and Spanish, visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel.
COVID-19 vaccines for 5-11 year-olds. Today the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year-olds (at one-third the adult dosage). Earlier in the week, an FDA advisory panel agreed that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks. The Pfizer vaccine is already fully approved for ages 16 and up, and is authorized for use for 12-15 year-olds.
An advisory committee to the CDC called ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) is meeting the week of Nov. 1 to discuss whether to recommend the vaccine for 5-11 year olds. The CDC director will consider this recommendation and is expected to make a final decision the same week.
COVID-19 data highlights (week of 10/17 - 10/23)
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. This reporting week, COVID cases increased.
471 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 372 per 100,000 people, or 849 total cases over 14 days.
Cases in the Ferndale sub-county area continued to increase. Cases in the Lynden region remained steady and higher than other areas since the beginning of October, as reflected in the case rate (325 per 100,000). The case rate in Nooksack Valley (270 per 100,000) is on a downward trend. This follows a brief period where Nooksack Valley experienced the highest case rate in the county.
The case rate among school-age children is increasing and is the highest among all age groups. Cases among school-age children are 26% of all confirmed cases in Whatcom County, slightly higher than last week. Case rates in adults 65 and older remain relatively unchanged.
The 7-day weekly case rate among unvaccinated residents in Whatcom County is four times greater than the equivalent rate among fully vaccinated residents.
Hospitalizations. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 remain high among Whatcom County residents, and are most frequent among unvaccinated individuals and among those 65 years and older. During this reporting period, 26 Whatcom County residents were hospitalized because of COVID-19; 22 (85%) were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
According to the October 27 DOH report on COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths by Vaccination Status, hospitalization rates are many times higher among unvaccinated residents. For Washington residents 12 – 64 years old, the hospitalization rate per 100,000 is 16 to 18 times higher for unvaccinated residents. For those 65 years and older, the hospitalization rate was nine times higher among unvaccinated residents.
Deaths. During this reporting period, there were two deaths due to COVID-19:
one unvaccinated male, 70-79
one unvaccinated female, 90-99
According to the October 27 DOH report mentioned above, unvaccinated individuals 65 and older are 9 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals 65 and older.
Vaccination Progress and Clinics
Data. As of October 25, 61.6% of all Whatcom County residents have been fully vaccinated. Out of everyone in the county who’s eligible, currently everyone 12 and older, 76.4% have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Clinics. You can get vaccinated for COVID-19 at most places you’d go for a flu vaccine, like grocery stores, pharmacies and health care clinics. In addition to these, these clinics are happening this week:
PeaceHealth Cordata Clinic (by appointment only)
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 9am-noon AND 1-4pm
Thursday, Nov. 4, 1-4pm
Friday, Nov. 5, 9am-noon AND 1-4pm
4545 Cordata Pkwy, Bellingham
Flu vaccines offered here, too! You can get both at the same time.
Appointment only. You don’t need to be an established patient to sign up: https://bit.ly/2ZJILvn.
Old Lynden Middle School Cafeteria
This week’s Facebook posts
The Health Department posts regularly on Facebook. Here’s a list of this week’s posts.