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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: May 10, 2020

Weekly COVID-19 Data Update

We’ve updated the charts on our website that show the weekly number of confirmed cases and COVID-19 attributed deaths with numbers for the week of Sunday, May 3 through Saturday, May 9.

Five deaths attributed to COVID-19 were reported to us during the past week. This includes all people who tested positive for COVID-19 and whose deaths were not attributed to causes other than COVID-19. Death data may fluctuate as death records and medical records are reconciled during our disease investigation process.

Last week, we received reports of 16 new cases of COVID-19. However, in the chart labeled “Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Whatcom County, by Week” you might notice that only 13 new cases are reported for the week of May 3 - 9. Why is that? Our weekly charts are “epidemiological curves”, which traditionally use the date that a person’s symptoms started (also known as date of illness onset) in the x axis of the chart. The date of onset of illness is different from the date that we receive test results and report new cases. Some cases that were reported to us last week were among people whose symptoms actually started the week before.

You may also notice that some of the dates associated with new cases in previous weeks have shifted too. We are now using a new and more accurate way of estimating when an individual with lab-confirmed COVID-19 first began to have symptoms. With this new method, some cases show an earlier illness onset date that we previously reported. This shift brings our local data more closely in alignment with data reported by the Washington State Department of Health and provides a more accurate picture of how COVID-19 is spreading in Whatcom County.

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