Whatcom County could take COVID-19 testing on the road as early as Monday, Aug. 24, although details are still being finalized and the exact start date is still being determined.
Field testing has been occurring since Monday, Aug. 10, as part of the effort to bring mobile testing to different parts of the county. The goal is to make it easy for people to get tested for the new coronavirus by offering testing in a broader geographic area and by allowing people to get tested without first having to go to a doctor and get a referral.
The travel restriction continues to hurt Whatcom County retailers, which see peak cross-border travel numbers in the summer. In 2018 Canadians spent an estimated $140 million in this area, representing 11.5% of Whatcom’s taxable retail sales, according to research done by the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University.
"Folks that are more typical renters have seen much more financial impact from COVID-19 than people who are buying homes," said James McCafferty, co-director of Western Washington University's Center for Economic and Business Research. "That's one of the reasons the home market has remained fairly strong through this experience."
McCafferty's co-director, Hart Hodges, said the coronavirus could actually start pushing prices even further up, as the fallout from COVID-19 pushes employees further out of Seattle — possibly even creating a new, much more affordable, suburb 90 miles to the north.
"If you work in a tech company downtown and somebody said you now only have to commute 2 days a week and you can work from home the rest of the time, that changes the definition of a suburb or a bedroom community of Seattle."
More federal money is headed to Whatcom County from the pandemic-relief bill known as the CARES Act, with these funds aimed at housing agencies across Washington state.
A grant of $390,000 announced Tuesday, Aug. 11, is the second of two awards totaling about $500,000 for the Bellingham and Whatcom County Housing Authorities, Executive Director Brien Thane told The Bellingham Herald.
The U.S. attempt to return children to the classroom this fall has turned into a slow-motion train wreck, with at least 2,400 students and staff either infected with COVID-19 or self-isolating because of exposure, and the vast majority of large school districts opting to go online this summer amid rising cases of the virus.
Let's face it, if you've been staying home a lot, you're probably pretty tired of looking at the same faces. Love them as we do, it feels like well past time to start seeing other people, to visit or host relatives and dear friends. So how can you do this without unknowingly spreading the virus or getting exposed?
Even if the most optimistic projections hold true and a COVID-19 vaccine is cleared for U.S. use in November, the vast majority of Americans won’t be able to get the shots until spring or summer next year at the earliest.
That likely timeline, based on interviews and remarks from top specialists including Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, means businesses, schoolchildren and families will continue to wait.
When the state’s top health official announced this week that Washington would revamp how it counts negative COVID-19 test results, he said the change would give officials a more up-to-date snapshot of the disease.
But it also added even more delays to the state’s daily reporting of the positivity rate, a key metric that determines how many of those tested are infected with the virus.
Hundreds of colleges have reversed or altered their reopening plans in the past several weeks after taking stock of COVID-19 testing availability, student and faculty safety concerns, state regulations and the worsening public health crisis.
A top federal health official is issuing a dire warning: Follow recommended coronavirus measures or risk having the worst fall in US public health history.
Coronavirus has infected more than 5 million people and killed over 166,000 nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. On Wednesday alone, there were 55,910 reported new cases and 1,499 deaths -- the highest number of fatalities since May.
"For your country right now and for the war that we're in against Covid, I'm asking you to do four simple things: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and be smart about crowds," said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.