Approximately one week from the next evaluation date to determine if it will be allowed to remain in Phase 3 or be forced to roll back to stricter COVID-19 measures, Whatcom County is missing both of the state’s metrics in its Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery plan.
Gov. Jay Inslee on May 4 announced a two-week pause to any phase movement, allowing all counties to stay in their current phase until the next evaluation date, which should be early next week.
U.S. regulators on Monday expanded the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12, offering a way to protect the nation’s adolescents before they head back to school in the fall and paving the way for them to return to more normal activities.
Shots could begin as soon as Thursday, after a federal vaccine advisory committee issues recommendations for using the two-dose vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds. An announcement is expected Wednesday.
Across the Bay Area, vaccinated people are venturing onto breezy restaurant patios, visiting with small groups of inoculated friends and hitting hiking trails unmasked. The science says the risk of getting or transmitting the coronavirus in such scenarios is very low.
But there’s another group of residents who, even after more than a year of social distancing and mask wearing, aren’t quite ready to give up their pandemic ways.
Health experts say that’s not unexpected. People were told for months to protect themselves from the virus, and they’re going to need time to re-emerge as the threat recedes. If the idea of going back to the office or removing your mask makes you nervous, that’s not an unnatural reaction.
Consider two names associated with one of our state’s public universities, one a slave owner and the other an abolitionist. Which do you think might be canceled? You got it, the abolitionist.
As Western Washington University examines the names of its building and programs, it’s not George Washington, the slave owner, being reviewed. It’s the abolitionist Thomas Henry Huxley. Known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his public defense of the theory of evolution, Huxley was also an early humanist (he invented the word “agnostic”) and social reformer. WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment was named after him when it was founded in 1970 as the world’s first interdisciplinary environmental college.
Universities around the country are conducting such reviews. Princeton recently removed Woodrow Wilson’s name from its School of Public and International Affairs, citing his segregationist policies. Clemson and Yale both changed the name of colleges previously named after vice-president John C. Calhoun, a slave owner and white supremacist best known for his “positive good” theory of slavery.
Is it now time for T.H. Huxley’s name to go, too?
Video news story on Western's vaccine clinic starts after short ad. May need to adjust volume. Includes interview with David Hansen, WWU associate medical director.
India’s Covid surge and the accompanying humanitarian calamity has left the nearly 4.8 million people strong Indian-American community reeling. Few, if any, from this community have been left untouched, and feelings of grief, fear, and helplessness are widespread, as people struggle to provide succour to their loved ones back home.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said mask-wearing could be a seasonal habit to combat common illnesses, even after the coronavirus pandemic.
Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor, said during a Sunday interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” it was “quite possible” that people will decide to wear masks seasonally to prevent catching colds or the flu.
Whatcom County has definitely begun to see its fourth COVID-19 surge of the pandemic, a local doctor says, but this surge is looking quite different than the three previous peaks.
“Unlike the other surges, when we saw a significant increase in cases in the community followed by a significant increase in the hospitalizations, if you look at the Whatcom numbers, Whatcom is seeing a slight increase in its (case) numbers — not like the third wave,” Dr. Sudhakar Karlapudi, chief medical officer at St. Joseph hospital in Bellingham, told The Bellingham Herald last week. “But the wave of hospitalizations is way high. The peak is way too high for hospitalizations.”
Moderna says early trial results show increased immunity against COVID-19 variants first found in Brazil and South Africa among people who took a booster shot or an experimental new vaccine. And a new study shows Pfizer's original vaccine has proven highly effective against the variant first spotted in the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile Moderna said Thursday it will start seeking full approval of its vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month. It's currently in use under an emergency authorization. Pfizer had already said it would begin trying for that full FDA approval by month's end.
Whatcom County saw one new death related to COVID-19 and 24 new cases reported Thursday, May 6, on the Washington State Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard.
Overall, Whatcom County has seen 8,313 confirmed cases and 92 related deaths during the pandemic, according to state data. An additional 321 probable cases — up one from the last report — have been reported in Whatcom County during the pandemic, resulting from positive antigen tests not confirmed by a molecular test.
No information about the person who died, such as gender, age or hometown was reported.