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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: July 29, 2022

Health Department Releases Analysis of Whatcom’s First Two Years With COVID-19

Today we released an analysis of local COVID-19 data for the first two years of the pandemic, from March 2020 through February 2022. The report focuses on four major focus areas: confirmed cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccinations. 

“This report provides a summary of how the SARS-CoV-2 virus spread through Whatcom County in the first two years,” said Chris Laugen, epidemiology specialist. “While there are and always will be gaps in our knowledge, this report provides the most complete and reliable local data available.”
 
Notable findings from the two-year data report include:

  • In the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Whatcom county reported 36,651 documented COVID-19 cases, 1,485 COVID-19 associated hospitalizations, and 295 COVID-19 deaths (March 2020-February 2022).
  • Whatcom County experienced better COVID-19 outcomes than most of Washington’s 39 counties during this time. Whatcom County reported the 11th lowest case rate (16,107 per 100,000), the 10th lowest hospitalization rate (650.9 per 100,000), and the 7th lowest death rate (129.0 per 100,000) among all Washington counties.
  • During the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic in Whatcom County, the greatest monthly numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths were recorded in January 2022, during the Omicron variant surge. During this month alone, WCHD recorded 12,505 cases, 310 hospitalizations, and 51 deaths due to COVID-19.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic affected older and younger people differently. More cases were reported among younger sections of the population (less than 60 years). More hospitalizations and deaths occurred among people 60+ years old. 
    • More than 85% of Whatcom’s COVID-19 deaths were people 60 or older. 
    • Fewer than 10 total deaths were people 40 or younger. 
  • A total of 367,926 COVID-19 vaccine primary series doses were administered through Feb. 28, 2022. 
    • The month with the greatest number of COVID-19 vaccines administered was March 2021 when more than 38,000 doses were administered.
  • Since vaccines became widely available, the rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalization, and deaths have remained lower among those who had been vaccinated, than those who were unvaccinated. 

This report used the best data available, however, there are limiting factors that presented challenges when creating this report. More information is in the report’s Data Limitations section. To read the full report, visit: https://bit.ly/3zfwjS9 

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