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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: October 22, 2021

Whatcom County COVID-19 Update for 10/22/21

In these updates, we will include news and updates, summarize publicly-available COVID-19 and vaccination data, and provide some context and details to help you understand what’s happening with COVID-19 in our community.

Each update will cover data for the week ending the previous Saturday. You can find the weekly data report, plus additional data, on our data page at www.whatcomcounty.us/coviddata.

Important updates

Moderna and J&J boosters 

Boosters for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are now available in Washington state. You can get a booster dose anywhere COVID-19 vaccines are offered, with or without a referral. To see if you need a booster, go to WhatcomCounty.US/CovidVaccine.

Booster doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were authorized this week by the FDA and recommended by the CDC for certain groups.

Moderna boosters are authorized for the same groups that are eligible for Pfizer booster, which includes anyone who finished their vaccination series at least 6 months ago and is:

Johnson & Johnson boosters are authorized more broadly. Anyone 18 or older who finished their Johnson & Johnson vaccination series at least 2 months prior is eligible for a booster. 

The CDC’s recommendations also allow for mix-and-matching brands for booster doses. Booster recipients may now choose whichever vaccine brand they prefer for their booster dose, even if it’s a different brand than they received for their original vaccination series. 

More information about the CDC’s latest recommendations for boosters can be found in the CDC’s media release

Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID-19 Test Required in King County

Traveling to King County soon? Make sure you bring proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID test results with you. Beginning October 25, people ages 12 and older will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to enter many indoor and outdoor events and establishments in King County. More information about where proof of vaccination will be required and what kinds of proof will be accepted is available on King County’s website

COVID-19 data highlights (week of 10/10 - 10/16)

This update focuses on COVID-19 data through the previous Saturday. We have to wait for complete data from a variety of sources, so our data reports will always cover the previous week. You can find the weekly data report, plus additional data, on our data page

Cases. This reporting week, COVID cases leveled off: 

  • 389 new cases were reported in the week. The 7-day average count for confirmed and probable cases was 55 per day.
  • The 14-day case rate was 352 per 100,000 people, or 802 total cases over 14 days. 
  • Several sub-county areas saw a downward trend in 7-day case rates per 100,000 residents. Ferndale showed a small increasing trend. Cases in the Lynden and Nooksack Valley areas remained high.
  • The case rate among school-age children is the highest among all age groups. Cases among school-age children are 21% of all confirmed cases in Whatcom County, about the same as last week. The case rate in people aged 18-24 is slowly declining, except in Lynden, where it increased sharply. The case rate in children 4 years and younger increased, although for now, they remain below the overall case rate in the county. Case rates in adults older than 44 remain relatively unchanged.

Hospitalizations. During this reporting period, 19 Whatcom County residents were hospitalized because of COVID-19; 15 (79%) were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. According to the October 13 DOH report on COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths by Vaccination Status, hospitalization rates are many times higher among unvaccinated residents. For Washington residents 12 – 64 years old, the hospitalization rate per 100,000 is 19 times higher for unvaccinated residents than for vaccinated residents. For those 65 years and older, the hospitalization rate was nine times higher among unvaccinated residents. 

Deaths. During this reporting period, there were three deaths due to COVID-19:

  • one unvaccinated male, 30-39
  • one unvaccinated female, 70-79
  • one vaccinated female, 80-89

According to the October 13 DOH report mentioned above, unvaccinated individuals 65 and older are more than 9 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals 65 and older. (More explanation is planned for an upcoming report.)

Vaccination Progress and Clinics

Data. As of October 18, 61.2% of all Whatcom County residents have been fully vaccinated. Out of everyone in the county who’s eligible, currently everyone 12 and older, 76% have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Clinics. You can get vaccinated for COVID-19 at most places you’d go for a flu vaccine, like grocery stores, pharmacies and health care clinics. In addition to these, there are a number of clinics happening all over the county next week:

  • A Watered Garden
    • Wednesday, Oct. 27, 3-7pm
    • 700 Strandell St, Everson,
    • Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
  • PeaceHealth Cordata Clinic (by appointment only)
    • Wednesday, Oct. 27, 9am-noon AND 1-4pm
    • Thursday, Oct. 28, 1-4pm
    • Friday, Oct. 29, 9am-noon AND 1-4pm
    • 4545 Cordata Pkwy, Bellingham
    • Pfizer
    • Flu vaccines offered here, too! You can get both at the same time.
    • While demand for booster doses is high, PeaceHealth will be giving vaccinations by appointment only. Appointments are available to everyone, you don’t need to be an established patient to sign up: https://bit.ly/2ZJILvn.
  • East Whatcom Regional Resource Center
    • Thursday, Oct. 28, 3-7pm
    • 8251 Kendall Rd, Maple Falls
    • Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
    • $25 gift cards available for first and second dose recipients.
    • Antigen tests offered here too! Not for travel.
  • Old Lynden Middle School Gym
    • Friday, Oct. 29, 3-7pm
    • 516 Main St, Lynden
    • Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
    • Antigen tests offered here too! Not for travel.
    • $15 Bordertown Mexican Grill food credit for people who get their first or second doses! 

This week’s Facebook posts

The Health Department posts regularly on Facebook. Here’s a list of this week’s posts.

 

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