COVID-19 cases on the rise in Whatcom County, schools

PeaceHealth hospital changes visitor guidelines
May 4, 2022 at 12:00 p.m.
Updated May 6, 2022 at 3:34 p.m.

Staff Reporter

Positive cases of COVID-19 are once again on the rise across Whatcom County and in local schools.

During the week of April 17 to 23, the county reported 351 new cases, according to the state Department of Health dashboard

The increase in cases puts Whatcom County back into the  medium community transmission level as defined by the CDC. 

Due to the change, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center is only allowing one visitor every 24 hours for patients starting May 3. Patients in labor and delivery will be allowed one primary support person and one additional doula or caregiver. COVID-19 patients are still not allowed visitors (with some exceptions).

The hospital reported six COVID-positive patients on May 2, 10 on May 1 and eight on April 30.

Between April 25 and April 29, Bellingham Public Schools reported 127 new cases. The district tallied 129 the week prior and 30 the week before that on its online dashboard. Before spring break from April 4 to 8, the district was seeing about 10 to 15 cases each week.

The district is encouraging students and staff to stay home if sick and to keep up to date on vaccinations.

The district currently provides COVID-19 test kits to families and staff, and offers walk-in testing at the Family Resource Center at Shuksan Middle School. It will host a vaccine clinic at the school on May 21.

Other districts in the county have seen upticks in cases. Ferndale School District reported 24 cases in the last seven days. Blaine School District reported 45 between April 18 to 24 and Lynden School District 17 between April 25 and 29.

Western Washington University has seen a steady rise in cases since the start of spring quarter, peaking with 68 new cases among students and faculty between April 25 and May 1. The university has reported 238 cases since the first week of spring quarter, March 29.

Masks are optional at all academic institutions in Whatcom County. 

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the community transmission level of Whatcom County. The story has been updated to reflect this change on May 6 at 3:34 p.m. The Cascadia Daily News regrets this error.

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