Covid-19 in Whatcom County, by school district boundaries: March 2

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As of February 28, Whatcom County has had a total of 6,646 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic and 83 deaths, according to Washington State Department of Health (DOH) data. Two people have died in the past week and the percent of deaths per total confirmed cases is 1.2 percent.

Some school districts dropped in case rates, while others rose. Nooksack Valley school district area had the highest rate of new cases in the past two weeks, with 515 confirmed cases per 100,000 people followed by Lynden (420), Ferndale (320), Mount Baker (215), Blaine (193), Meridian (149), and Bellingham (117).

The county expects at least 11,030 first doses and 1,900 second doses this week, according to health department data published March 2. About 7.1 percent of county residents are fully vaccinated and 13.7 percent have received at least one shot, according to the health department.

Statewide, 1,676,787 vaccine doses have been administered, with 297,469 doses administered in the past week.

About 589,725 people in Washington have received two doses of the vaccine and 1,080,764 have received one dose.

In the past seven days, the state has averaged administering 37,481 vaccines daily, which is 83.2 percent of its goal to vaccinate 45,000 people daily. Whatcom County administered 852 vaccines daily.

Washington state has had 321,881 total confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic and 18,827 probable cases (probable cases come from an antigen test but not a molecular test).  In all, 4,969 people in Washington with the virus have died as of February 28 and 19,372 have been hospitalized.

Johnson and Johnson vaccine approved

The FDA approved the Johnson and Johnson vaccine February 27. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is the third vaccine to be approved in the U.S. and only requires a single shot.

The health department announced that Washington could have 60,900 Johnson and Johnson doses this week but did not know when the vaccine would arrive in Whatcom County.

State letter to county recognizes Whatcom County’s low vaccine allotment

The DOH recognized Whatcom County hadn’t received enough vaccines from the state in a February 28 letter to Whatcom County Health Board chair Barry Buchanan. State secretary of health Dr. Umair Shah, who signed the letter, said the county would receive an extra 4,680 first dose allocations this week.

“We also recognized that Whatcom County was behind in county pro rata vaccine allocations, as are a few other counties,” the letter read. Shah said that DOH asked the health department in a February 20 email to give them the names of providers that could distribute the Pfizer vaccine, which is currently more abundant than Moderna.

In the previous week, the letter said Whatcom County received 2,540 first doses and 3,270 second doses of the vaccine. The county received 2,400 second doses two weeks ago and the letter said the state had prioritized second doses due to high demand.

Shah said there were not enough vaccines for everyone in the current eligible phases, with over 2.5 million people statewide in eligible tiers. “We know this is frustrating, but we wait for your understanding and patience as we wait to get more vaccines into the state to cover everyone who needs it,” the letter read. 

However, the letter also said the federal government had announced an increase in vaccines sent weekly to Washington. 

“We are working with local jurisdictions toward a steady, predictable baseline allocation to each county,” the letter said.

For more Whatcom County information, visit whatcomcounty.us/covidvaccine and whatcomcounty.us/coviddata. State information is available at bit.ly/3r2URJj. Vaccine locations can be found at bit.ly/3nZiMqr. For CDC data, visit bit.ly/39Kt4qh.

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