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. Due to staffing and holiday schedules, the next video versions of these updates will be on Dec. 4. To watch previous updates, available in both English and Spanish, visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel.
Boosters. Today the FDA and the CDC’s advisory committee approved the use of Pfizer and Moderna boosters for all adults 18 and over. They were already approved for use for certain high-risk groups. There are still a few more steps before they will be approved for use in Washington; we expect those reviews to take place in the next few days.
COVID-19 vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds. See details about vaccine providers, clinics, and new Q&A videos in both English and Spanish in our Vaccination Progress section. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no pop-up clinics next week.
Community testing site. This week, the testing site moved to Economy Parking Lot B at the airport. See our media release for more info on the route.
COVID-19 data highlights (week of 11/8 - 11/13)
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 remained at approximately the same high level:
439 new cases were reported in the week. The 7-day average count for confirmed and probable cases was 63 per day.
The 14-day case rate was 394 per 100,000 people, or 898 total cases over 14 days.
Among the sub-county areas, the range of 7-day case rates ranges from 129 per 100,000 in the Bellingham area to 367 per 100,000 in the Lynden area. The relatively high case rate in the Nooksack Valley area decreased to 253 per 100,000 during the most recent reporting week. By contrast, the Lynden area continues to see a relatively high number of cases.
Cases in school-age children made up 26% of the total cases for the current reporting week. The case rate among 5 – 17-year-olds remains higher than other age groups. The case rate for this age group declined significantly in both Nooksack Valley and Lynden; there were moderate increases in Meridian and Blaine.
The 7-day weekly case rate among unvaccinated residents in Whatcom County is about three to four times greater than the equivalent rate among fully vaccinated residents.
Hospitalizations. New hospitalizations due to COVID-19 remain high among Whatcom County residents, with a total of 25 (compared to 27 hospitalizations the previous week). More unvaccinated residents (20 out of 25, or 80%) continue to need hospitalization for COVID-19 symptoms than vaccinated residents.
According to the November 17 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 14 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 four deaths due to COVID-19:
one vaccinated female, 90-99 years
two unvaccinated males, 60-69 years
one unvaccinated male, 70-79 years
According to the November 17 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 November 13, 67.6% of all Whatcom County residents have started vaccination and 62.4% have finished. In the newly eligible 5-11 age group, 1,184 have received first doses, which is about 7% of this group.
Pediatric vaccines. We’ve made a couple of videos to answer some common questions many parents have about pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, in English and Spanish. Check them out on our pediatric COVID-19 vaccine page. Topics discussed include:
Safety and efficacy
Difference between pediatric and adult doses
Potential risks and known benefits
Where to find additional information
We’re also maintaining a list of providers who’ve told us they intend to offer pediatric COVID-19 vaccines. Dates, times and appointment scheduling procedures vary at each of these locations. We keep this list on our vaccine page and we’ll update it every Monday.
Pop-ups. There will be no pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics the week of Nov. 22. However, many local pharmacies, health care providers and grocery stores regularly offer COVID-19 vaccines.
To find a vaccine provider near you, go to VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov. You can search for pediatric vaccine providers here, too. We also maintain list of local providers who offer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine at WhatcomCounty.US/CovidVaccine.
This week’s Facebook posts
The Health Department posts regularly on Facebook. Here’s a list of this week’s posts.