Whatcom County saw its first death related to COVID-19 reported in a week by the Washington State Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard on Wednesday, March 17, along with 23 new confirmed cases.
Overall, Whatcom County has seen 7,038 confirmed cases and 86 related deaths during the pandemic, according to state data as of 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 16. An additional 182 probable cases — an increase of four from Tuesday’s report — have been reported in Whatcom County during the pandemic, resulting from positive antigen tests not confirmed by a molecular test.
Washington’s state tax collections are roaring back, with an estimated additional $3.2 billion projected through 2023 as parts of the economy brighten and people get vaccinated amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s a big chunk of money for a state with a $53.3 billion, two-year state budget that funds schools, parks, prisons and other programs.
And it’s a startling turnaround since last spring, when the economy shut down as the COVID-19 outbreak took hold and a $9 billion shortfall emerged, sparking predictions ranging from another Great Recession to something closer to a depression.
Nearly a year has passed since Washington’s schools closed due to COVID-19. The state’s children are suffering a mental and behavioral health crisis so troubling that Gov. Jay Inslee has ordered educators to reopen their classrooms next month.
This crisis is the “result of the ongoing pandemic, which has been exacerbated by continued isolation, difficulty engaging with virtual learning, and lack of regular in-person interaction with educators, school personnel, mentors and peers,” states an emergency proclamation signed by the governor on Monday.
The City of Bellingham cleaned up a homeless encampment located at Frank Geri Field near the Civic Athletic Complex Tuesday morning. But even as people were swept out of the camp, they were setting up another less than two miles away.
After crews broke down the camp, dozens of people experiencing homelessness pitched tents at Laurel Park — a neighborhood playfield bordering Western Washington University.
A total of 400 doses of the Moderna vaccine will be offered during a COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic Saturday, March 20, at Bellingham Technical College.
It will run 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Community Vaccination Center at Bellingham Technical College, 3028 Lindbergh Ave. in building G.
Vaccination is by appointment only.
Political leaders and FBI officials are frantically rushing to address the renewed threat of White Supremacist violence in the wake of the January 6 Capitol insurrection. But as they do so it is worth recalling the lessons of one of the most consequential acts of nonviolent resistance in American history, which happened 50 years ago this month.
On March 8, 1971, a group of Philadelphia-area peace activists broke into a small FBI office, and stole a cache of secret documents which they subsequently shared with the press. Their burglary led to the exposure of mass FBI surveillance of American political dissidents, a chilling example of government power infringing on people’s rights. The FBI had initiated the mass surveillance in a desperate attempt to thwart the Weather Underground and other clandestine leftist guerrillas involved in bombings and attacks on police officers, yet the operation had cast a wide net, surveilling political activists because of their dissident views rather than criminal activity.
Whatcom County surpassed 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases during the pandemic with 20 new positive tests reported by the Washington State Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard on Tuesday, March 16, but no new related deaths were reported.
Overall, Whatcom County has seen 7,015 confirmed cases and 85 related deaths during the pandemic, according to state data as of 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 15. An additional 178 probable cases — an increase of two from Monday’s report — have been reported in Whatcom County during the pandemic, resulting from positive antigen tests not confirmed by a molecular test.
That means that 1.2% of Whatcom’s 7,193 total cases (confirmed and probable cases combined) have resulted in death — better than the statewide 1.5% average of total cases.
For the week of March 15, providers in Whatcom County expect to receive 5,710 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine and 5,180 second doses, the Whatcom County Health Department said.
Michael Medler, an assistant professor at Western Washington University who has also worked as a firefighter, said the more than 5 million acres in Oregon that need thinning and burning treatment are “too big a problem to just get in there and solve with saws.”
“That’s a massive area,” he said. “I’m proposing instead we focus on thinning in buffers around communities.”
Ahead of an expansion — called phase 1B, tier 2 — that will allow up to 30,000 more Whatcom County residents access to the COVID-19 vaccine, health care providers here said they will have another mass vaccination clinic on Saturday, March 20.