In the Media

Monday, March 9, 2020 - 10:09am
The Bellingham Herald

Whatcom County also trails the national average in terms of adding six-figure salaries. Between 2015-2018, the percentage increase of that salary level rose 79.7%; the national average increase for the same period was 84.6%.

One factor for Whatcom’s slower increase is that this area has a relatively small economy, said Hart Hodges, co-director at the Center for Economic and Business Research at Western Washington University. He noted that nationally the jobs with the most six-figure salaries are operation managers and software developers, occupations Whatcom doesn’t have many of because of the smaller population.

Monday, March 9, 2020 - 10:08am
Seattle Times

Hart Hodges, an economist at Western Washington University and director of the Center for Economic and Business Research, said he will be watching for a similar dynamic among consumers.

“If people do not go out to eat as much, restaurant owners and wait staff [will] see a drop in revenue, so they in turn spend less,” Hodges wrote in an email Thursday, adding that he had just been notified that a future lunch meeting had been canceled. “So there’s 100 people not attending a lunch in Seattle.”

Monday, March 9, 2020 - 10:04am
Seattle Times

Western Washington University has canceled its March 21 winter commencement because of coronavirus concerns, officials at the Bellingham campus announced Friday.

Students scheduled to graduate at the conclusion of winter quarter, which ends March 20, will be incorporated into larger June commencement ceremonies, officials said.

Friday, March 6, 2020 - 11:18am
Seattle Times

Washington’s insurance commissioner issued an emergency order Thursday directing health insurance carriers with state-regulated plans, through May 4, to provide health care provider visits and novel coronavirus testing without co-payments and deductible payments to enrollees and who meet criteria for testing.

The order will apply to individual-market plans, as well as small-group and large-group employer plans, which cover about 1.2 million people, but not to self-funded employer plans, Medicaid and Medicare, which are regulated by the federal government, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s office said.

Friday, March 6, 2020 - 11:17am
Everett Herald

The Northwest Athletic Conference Basketball Championships that began Thursday morning at Everett Community College have been suspended.

The move came after Everett CC officials closed the campus for extensive cleaning to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The school is scheduled to reopen Monday.

After the closure of the campus, it was learned that an Everett CC student tested positive for COVID-19, the school said.

Friday, March 6, 2020 - 11:14am
Associated Press

The University of Washington said Friday that it will stop holding classes for nearly 60,000 students at its three campuses and instead teach students online to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

The change will begin Monday, and be in effect through the end of winter quarter on March 20, the university said on Twitter, though the school said the campuses will remain open.

Friday, March 6, 2020 - 11:11am
The Bellingham Herald

Three more people in Whatcom County are being tested for the new coronavirus, according to updated information on the Whatcom County Health Department website.

That doubles to six the number of people tested in recent days to find out if they’re sick with the respiratory illness. As of Thursday morning, March 5, no one has tested positive for COVID-19 in Whatcom County.

Friday, March 6, 2020 - 11:07am
The Bellingham Herald

Western Washington University reported that the body of a male in his mid 20s was found Thursday afternoon in a wooded area north of the Buchanan Towers residence hall. No foul play is suspected at this time.

WWU released information about the body in an alert to students and staff at 3:21 p.m. March 5. The identity of the man has not yet been released.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 12:32pm
The Bellingham Herald

A second Whatcom County resident is being tested for the new coronavirus.

A sample was sent Tuesday, March 3, to the Washington State Department of Health lab in Shoreline, according to Melissa Morin, spokeswoman for the Whatcom County Public Health Department.

Monday, March 2, 2020 - 12:22pm
Seattle Times

Four new cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, were confirmed in King County today. Two of those have died. One previously reported coronavirus patient in King County also has died.

This brings the totals in King County to 14 cases of COVID-19, including five deaths, according to Public Health – Seattle & King County.

In addition, a patient from Snohomish County has died, bringing the total deaths in the state to six.

“We expect the number of cases to increase in the coming days and weeks,” said Jeff Duchin, health officer for the public health agency, who stressed that most cases will be mild. “We are taking this situation extremely seriously.”