Covid-19 by school district, October 12, 2020

As of October 12, Whatcom County had a total of 1,474 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic and 49 deaths, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Sixty-eight of …

Covid-19 case counts in Whatcom County as of October 5

As of October 5, Whatcom County had a total of 1,406 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic and 48 deaths, according to the Washington State Department of Health. In total, …

County Covid-19 testing resumes after air quality closures

Due to poor air quality, the Whatcom County Health Department and Whatcom Unified Command (WUC) canceled Covid-19 testing at the Birch Bay testing site this week. The county closed four sites of its …

Get the care you need during Covid-19

Whatcom County residents have been turning to virtual medical visits, also known as telemedicine, more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic. While telemedicine companies have been around for …

Federal grant to temporarily add $300 a week to unemployment benefits

Those receiving unemployment benefits due to Covid-19 in Washington state will soon get some extra relief. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced on August 24 that it approved …

Low-barrier Covid-19 tests available weekly in Birch Bay

Whatcom County’s low-barrier Covid-19 mobile testing program expanded this week to include a site at Birch Bay Bible Community Church, as well as five other new locations throughout the …

Border closure extended until September 21

Non-essential land travel between the U.S./Canada border will remain closed until at least September 21, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf announced in an August 14 tweet. This is …

Health department recommends local school districts start remotely

Whatcom County health officer Dr. Greg Stern recommended to county superintendents and private school administrators that schools plan to start the school year with remote learning, according to a …

Local rate of Covid-19 cases among lowest in county

According to the latest data from the Whatcom County Health Department, 51 people who live within  the Blaine school district have tested positive for Covid-19 since the beginning of the …

Restricted dining, rent moratorium among new Covid-19 restrictions

Governor Jay Inslee introduced new changes to his Safe Start phased reopening plan during a June 23 press conference, including dining restrictions and a new rent moratorium, that will go into effect …

Low-barrier Covid-19 test site too expensive to continue

The Whatcom County Health Department and Whatcom Unified Command (WUC)will no longer offer free, low-barrier Covid-19 testing at Civic Field Stadium as the resources necessary were unsustainable to …

Majority using low-barrier Covid-19 test site lack a primary care doctor

Health department plans to release more information about low-barrier test site this week The majority of people tested at Whatcom County’s low-barrier Covid-19 pilot test site at Civic …

Border closure extended until late August

According to Canadian news reports, non-essential travel between the U.S. and Canada is expected to remain blocked until at least August 21, as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the U.S. Neither …

County’s first low-barrier Covid-19 testing site opens July 10

For two days starting Friday, July 10, it will be possible to get tested for Covid-19 in Whatcom County without a referral from a healthcare provider. The Whatcom County Health Department and …

Covid-19 cases are up locally, but hospitalizations remain low

In the two-week period ending July 1, 183 people tested positive for the virus in Whatcom County – more than three times the state’s target for Whatcom County under the Safe Start plan. …

State launches hotline to help with stress and anxiety

Washington state launched a support program and phone line called Washington Listens to help people manage stress and anxiety related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The support line number is …

Statewide mask mandate starts Friday

A statewide mandate that requires people who are in public and cannot distance more than six feet to wear cloth face coverings will go into effect on Friday, June 26. The public health order, a legal …

Whatcom Unified Command status report for June 16

According to the Whatcom County Health Department, there have been 453 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the county as of June 10 and 38 people with the virus have died. For a closer look at the …

Is Whatcom on track for phase 3?

Whatcom County entered phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start Covid-19 re-opening plan on June 5, and could be eligible to apply for phase 3 on June 26. Counties must apply to the Washington State …

Sheriff's office preps for busy Birch Bay Fourth of July

Birch Bay is historically a popular spot for unofficial Fourth of July gatherings and fireworks. An annual post-holiday cleanup, organized by the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce, Whatcom County Health …

Whatcom Unified Command status report for June 10

According to the Whatcom County Health Department, there have been 420 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the county as of June 10 and 38 people have died. For a closer look at the figures, click here or …

Whatcom County moves to phase 2

Whatcom County received approval on June 5 to move to phase 2 of Washington state's four-phase Safe Start re-opening plan. Under phase 2, more businesses can open and small gatherings can …

School district and community get creative to celebrate grads

To commemorate graduation and other scholastic milestones during the pandemic, the Blaine school district and the community are getting creative. Here are a few of the events coming up to celebrate …

Mental health and isolation during social distancing

One of the most important ways we can slow the spread of Covid-19 is to stay home and physically distance ourselves from others. Unfortunately, this method of containing the spread of the virus has …

Whatcom Unified Command status report for May 27

According to the Whatcom County Health Department, there have been 381 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the county as of 11:44 a.m., March 26. A total of 7,762 people have tested negative while 33 …

State unemployment hit by fraud

The economic bloodbath precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic continued unabated during the month of April as the state unemployment rate reached 15.8 percent. Whatcom was one of the hardest hit …

Local group looking for help sewing masks

The BBSP (Blaine, Birch Bay, Semiahmoo, Point Roberts) Covid-19 Community Helpers group is looking for volunteers to help sew masks for people in the community. The group started sewing face masks …

Whatcom Unified Command status report for May 22

According to the Whatcom County Health Department, there have been 381 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the county as of 11:44 a.m., March 26. A total of 7,762 people have tested negative while 33 …

Whatcom Unified Command status report for May 21

According to the Whatcom County Health Department, there have been 364 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the county as of 11 a.m., March 22. A total of 4,712 people have tested negative while 32 people …

Whatcom Unified Command status report for May 20

Whatcom Unified Command's daily Covid-19 status report for May 19 is available here, and in the attachment to the left. 

Local lab offering Covid-19 testing for employers

Northwest Laboratory, the lab running a drive-through Covid-19 testing site in Bellingham, began offering Covid-19 testing for employers on May 14. Any employers can contact the lab and request …

Whatcom Unified Command status report for May 19

Whatcom Unified Command's daily Covid-19 status report for May 19 is available here, and in the attachment to the left. 

Canada/U.S. border closure extended another 30 days

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada/U.S. border closure to non-essential travel would be extended another 30 days until June 21. “This is an important decision that …

Whatcom Unified Command status report for May 15

Whatcom Unified Command's daily Covid-19 status report for May 15 is available here, and in the attachment to the left. 

Local restaurants can now sell cocktails to-go

In a new stay home order allowance, restaurants with a license to serve spirits, beer and wine can now sell pre-mixed cocktails to-go, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced on May …

City of Blaine launches loan program for local businesses

The city of Blaine is offering a new loan program for local businesses to help them get through the economic challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Beginning Thursday, May 14, Blaine-area …

Blood donations needed as medical procedures resume

Blood donations are needed as Washington hospitals prepare to re-start surgeries, organ transplants and cancer treatments that were suspended in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals and …

Don’t delay necessary care, PeaceHealth urges

As Whatcom County continues to focus on social distancing, handwashing and face masks to flatten the curve, PeaceHealth is beginning to plan for the future with a focus on safely returning to care …

Group provides support, care packages for truck drivers

In March, some chain truck stops across the U.S. temporarily closed, leaving truckers that haul freight across North America without a crucial resource for bathroom breaks, showers and other …

Whatcom Unified Command status report for May 12

Whatcom Unified Command's daily Covid-19 status report for May 12 is available here, and in the attachment to the left. 

Six new Covid-19 cases brings county total to 342

On May 12, the Whatcom County Health Department reported six new confirmed cases of Covid-19, and no new deaths. The department of health's website showed that 20 test results came back negative …

State will soon have 1,371 Covid-19 "contact tracers" ready to go

Washington state will have 1,371 contact tracers trained and ready to go by the end of the week, governor Jay Inslee said during a May 12 press conference. Each time someone tests positive for …

Whatcom Unified Command status report for May 11

Whatcom Unified Command's daily Covid-19 status report for May 11 is available here, and in the attachment to the left. 

County council approves six-month permit extension for restaurants

Restaurants and food establishments whose health department permits expire before February 28, 2021, have an extra six months to pay for and renew operating permits under a new amendment to Whatcom …

Whatcom Unified Command status report for May 8

Whatcom Unified Command's daily Covid-19 status report for May 8 is available here, and in the attachment to the left. 

Five counties on fast track to re-open, Inslee says; curbside retail, landscaping guidance issued

In a televised news conference on May 8, Washington governor Jay Inslee announced that he was issuing guidance for curbside retail and landscaping businesses to re-start.

County health department reports two new cases, four deaths for May 7

For May 7, the Whatcom County Health Department reported four new deaths due to Covid-19 and two new confirmed cases out of 80 new test results.  In total, 328 have tested positive for the virus …

As re-opening begins, local infections rise

When the first phase of Washington state’s four-phase re-opening plan began May 5, the number of new cases of Covid-19 in Whatcom County was already increasing. In the week ending May 2, 29 …

Business survey shows which sectors are most impacted by Covid-19

In a survey of 765 Whatcom County businesses, about half reported being closed, 405 said they had laid off workers since the coronavirus outbreak began, and 195 said that they will need to lay off …

Cherry Point refineries make donations to Covid-19 relief efforts

The two refineries in Whatcom County’s Cherry Point industrial zone, BP and Phillips 66, have made donations to assist with Covid-19 relief efforts. In an April 29 news release, BP said that …