Bellingham Police will still respond to emergency calls for people suffering a mental-health crisis, Mayor Seth Fleetwood said at an online City Council meeting Monday night, July 26.
Fleetwood’s comments came in response to concerns regarding several new state laws, including one that took effect Sunday that limits police use of force and requires officers to use de-escalation techniques.
Washington will follow current federal guidance for the use of facial coverings amid the COVID-19 pandemic uptick, but won’t impose new masking requirements, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday.
But as virus cases again begin to rise, Inslee in a news conference said fully vaccinated people should consider wearing a mask in public indoor spaces in counties deemed to have substantial or high transmission of the virus, such as Yakima, Douglas and Snohomish.
The announcement follows new guidelines released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That guidance urged vaccinated Americans to wear facial coverings indoors in certain circumstances, such as in public spaces.
In a news conference Wednesday morning, Inslee also reiterated that all K-12 students and school employees will be required to wear masks around each other inside their buildings.
As the fifth wave of COVID-19 has led to a national reconsideration of inside masking recommendations for all, Whatcom County is seeing increases in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Whatcom County saw a 22% increase in rolling case counts going from nine cases on July 7 to 11 cases on July 14, the dates for which the most complete data was available from the state Department of Health. Statewide, there was a 41% increase over the same time period.
Whatcom County officials continue to emphasize vaccination as the best way to prevent COVID-19, even as other Washington counties are taking extra precautions amid a statewide fifth wave of the new coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint statement issued Monday, July, 26, the local health officials from eight Washington counties recommended a return to using masks or face coverings at indoor public spaces.
The United States will keep existing COVID-19 travel restrictions on international travel in place for now due to concerns about the surging infection rate because of the delta variant, according to a White House official.
President Joe Biden earlier this month said that his administration was “in the process” of considering how soon the U.S. could lift the ban on European travel bound for the U.S. after the issue was raised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to the White House.
The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said while the administration understands the importance of international travel, cases are rising in the U.S. — particularly among those who are unvaccinated and will likely continue to increase in the weeks ahead.
Nancy Holman, Rocky Mountain National Park’s chief of interpretation and education (and a WWU alumna), has been named superintendent of Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
The Kalama methanol refinery’s demise was powered by — and good for — Kalama locals. Trust me; I am one.
After Northwest Innovation Works abandoned plans for the world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery in Kalama, Port of Kalama officials complained about government overreach, burdensome regulations and meddlesome out-of-towners.
The real story involves Kalama locals working together to protect our town, our land and water, and our health.
The highly contagious delta variant is now the most dominant strain in Washington.
The delta variant lagged in Washington as it surged across the nation. That has changed in recent weeks, as it now accounts for the largest share of coronavirus cases in the state.
According to the state Department of Health’s (DOH) latest sequencing and variants report, delta makes up 57.5% of cases that have been genotyped, a jump from the previous report that pegged delta at 27.5%.
As delta has taken hold, those being infected are predominantly unvaccinated, Dr. Scott Lindquist, the acting chief science officer and state epidemiologist, said during a Friday news briefing.
The air quality in Central Washington’s Winthrop was so bad Thursday that the National Weather Service of Spokane compared it to Mordor, the evil realm of a dark wizard in “Lord of the Rings.”
New jobless claims in Washington fell last week to their lowest level since the start of the pandemic as the recovering state economy continues to reopen and add jobs.
Washingtonians filed 5,061 new, or “initial,” claims for unemployment benefits last week, a 7.8% decrease from the prior week, the state Employment Security Department reported Thursday.