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Whatcom receives ‘medium’ COVID grade from CDC


Whatcom County remained within the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “medium” neighborhood COVID-19 danger degree for a second straight week, whereas an infection and hospitalizations charges in a single area throughout the county would earn it a “high” rating, the place masking is really helpful for everybody.

Based on its weekly COVID an infection fee being larger than 200 new instances per 100,000 residents, the CDC gave Whatcom the “medium” neighborhood degree score when new knowledge was launched Thursday, June 16, that means masking is really helpful for individuals who are at excessive danger of significant problems from COVID and people who might expose these at excessive danger. It marked the second straight week and the third time in 4 weeks that Whatcom has obtained the “medium” rating.

But The Bellingham Herald’s evaluation of the most recent location knowledge launched Thursday by the Whatcom County Health Department confirmed that the area lined by the Ferndale School District would truly obtain a “high” score if the CDC drilled all the way down to that degree. It’s the third time in 5 weeks that the Ferndale area has seen weekly an infection and hospitalization charges excessive sufficient to obtain a rating the place masking is really helpful for everybody.

Additionally, The Herald discovered that three different areas — Bellingham, Meridian and Mount Baker — had numbers putting them within the “medium” vary, whereas Blaine, Lynden and Nooksack Valley all can be within the “low” neighborhood ranges. Nooksack Valley is the one area within the county that has been within the “low” vary because the CDC launched its community-level rankings in early spring.

Though it remained “low,” the Nooksack area was certainly one of 4 areas within the county to see its weekly variety of new instances per 100,000 residents climb final week. Only the Ferndale and Lynden areas noticed an infection charges lower, whereas Bellingham’s fee was unchanged from the week earlier than.

To be categorized within the “low” degree by the CDC, counties will need to have:

Fewer than 200 new instances per 100,000 residents up to now seven days.

Fewer than 10 new COVID-related hospitalizations per 100,000 residents up to now seven days.

Less than 10% of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 sufferers.

While masking is really helpful for everybody for counties with “high” neighborhood ranges, the CDC solely recommends face coverings solely for individuals who are at excessive danger of significant problems from COVID and people who might expose these at excessive danger for counties within the “medium” vary. Masking in most indoor conditions is just not included among the many CDC’s really helpful tips for communities within the “low” degree.

At each degree, the CDC says individuals “can wear a mask based on personal preference” and will put on a masks if they’ve COVID signs, check optimistic or have potential publicity.

As of Friday, June 17, St. Joseph hospital in Bellingham reported it was treating 20 COVID-related sufferers. That would give it a mean of 19.7 COVID-related sufferers per day over the previous week (June 11-17) — its highest weekly affected person rely since Feb. 25 when it was 21.0, however nonetheless throughout the CDC’s “low” tips with 7.8% of the hospital’s 252 inpatient beds stuffed by COVID sufferers.

The Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard’s newest replace on Wednesday, June 15, confirmed Whatcom County had a weekly an infection fee of 267 new instances per 100,000 residents and an an infection fee of 8.8 new COVID-related sufferers per 100,000 residents for essentially the most not too long ago full epidemiological knowledge from May 31 to June 6. For the whole pandemic, Whatcom County has had 42,032 instances with 1,662 hospitalizations and 307 deaths associated to COVID-19.

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Here is what the well being division’s newest knowledge confirmed for the seven areas within the county for the week of June 5-11:

Bellingham: Had 325 new instances, eight new hospitalizations and one new dying reported, growing its pandemic totals to 18,057 instances, 573 hospitalizations and 146 deaths. Its weekly an infection fee of 243 instances per 100,000 residents was unchanged from one week earlier.

Blaine: Had 31 new instances, no new hospitalizations and no new deaths reported, growing its pandemic totals to three,491 instances, 128 hospitalizations and 23 deaths. Its weekly an infection fee of 175 instances per 100,000 residents was up from 164 one week earlier.

Ferndale: Had 83 new instances, 4 new hospitalizations and no new deaths reported, growing its pandemic totals to 7,665 instances, 349 hospitalizations and 55 deaths. Its weekly an infection fee of 246 instances per 100,000 residents was down from 267 one week earlier.

Lynden: Had 30 new instances, one new hospitalization and no new deaths reported, growing its pandemic totals to five,652 instances, 272 hospitalizations and 38 deaths. Its weekly an infection fee of 145 instances per 100,000 residents was down from 188 one week earlier.

Meridian: Had 21 new instances, two new hospitalizations and no new deaths reported, growing its pandemic totals to 1,943 instances, 86 hospitalizations and 14 deaths. Its weekly an infection fee of 178 instances per 100,000 residents was up from 102 one week earlier.

Mount Baker: Had 27 new instances, three new hospitalizations and no new deaths reported, growing its pandemic totals to 2,274 instances, 128 hospitalizations and 17 deaths. Its weekly an infection fee of 179 instances per 100,000 residents was up from 173 one week earlier.

Nooksack Valley: Had 19 new instances, one new hospitalization and no new deaths reported, growing its pandemic totals to 2,692 instances, 114 hospitalizations and 13 deaths. Its weekly an infection fee of 176 instances per 100,000 residents was up from 120 one week earlier.

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David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking information. He has been an editor and author in a number of western states since 1994.




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