Whatcom County saw its number of deaths related to COVID-19 rise by three on Thursday, Dec. 3, the Washington State Department of Health reported, but the number of new cases in the county increased by only 11.
Whatcom County now has seen 2,556 confirmed cases and 56 related deaths during the pandemic, according to state data as of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3. That means that 2.2% of the Whatcom residents who have tested positive for COVID during the pandemic have died.
Joe Biden said Thursday that he will ask Americans to commit to 100 days of wearing masks as one of his first acts as president, stopping just short of the nationwide mandate he’s pushed before to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The move marks a notable shift from President Donald Trump, whose own skepticism of mask-wearing has contributed to a politicization of the issue. That’s made many people reticent to embrace a practice that public health experts say is one of the easiest ways to manage the pandemic, which has killed more than 275,000 Americans.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine to the right people could change the course of the pandemic in the United States. But who are the right people?
As the decision looms for President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration, a new analysis argues for targeting the first vaccines to the same low-income Black, Hispanic and Native American households that have disproportionately suffered from the coronavirus. But no one at the federal level has committed to the idea, which would be a significant shift from the current population-based method adopted by Operation Warp Speed.
It could also be a reporting issue, given all the changes that have happened at grocery stores, said Hart Hodges, co-director at the Center for Economic and Business Research at Western Washington University. He noted the switch by many customers to online grocery ordering and curbside pickup as well as the big sales increases reported by grocery companies during that period suggest it was a strong second quarter for local stores.
Health care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line when the first coronavirus vaccine shots become available, an influential government advisory panel said Tuesday.
The panel voted 13-1 to recommend those groups get priority in the first days of any coming vaccination program, when doses are expected to be very limited. The two groups encompass about 24 million people out of a U.S. population of about 330 million.
A limited number of vaccine doses likely will be available in Whatcom County by later this month, the Health Department’s top doctor said Tuesday, Dec. 1.
“We are preparing as a county to have it arrive here by late December,” said Dr. Greg Stern, the county health officer.
“There will be a limited amount of doses, they’ll be going to folks based on prioritization,” Stern told the Whatcom County Council at an online meeting of the Health Board.
Whatcom County saw 83 more residents test positive for COVID-19, the Washington State Department of Health reported on Tuesday, Dec. 1, but no new deaths related to coronavirus were reported.
Whatcom County now has seen 2,469 confirmed cases and 53 related deaths during the pandemic, according to state data as of 11:59 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30. That means that 2.1% of the Whatcom residents who have tested positive for COVID during the pandemic have died.
The 83 cases reported Tuesday were the county’s second-highest single-day total during the pandemic, trailing only 88 reported Nov. 24.
Health officials on Wednesday urged Americans to stay home over the upcoming holiday season and consider getting tested for coronavirus before and after if they do decide to travel.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the best way to stay safe and protect others is to stay home.
That’s the same advice they had over Thanksgiving but many Americans traveled anyway. With COVID-19 cases and deaths continuing to rise, the CDC added the testing option.
More than 200,000 people have already signed up for Washington’s COVID-19 notification phone app, Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday as he implored residents to sign up for it.
And in a news conference, Inslee said that if enough Washingtonians are comfortable signing up for it, the app could save a measurable number of people from getting infected or dying of the new coronavirus.
“This is a pretty sweet deal for folks,” said the governor, who described the app as “free, private, easy to use and effective and can actually save lives.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education named Western a ‘2020 Great College to Work for’ in its 2020 annual survey.
Rankings were based on a survey of staff and faculty at more than 221 colleges and universities across the country.
WWU was the only Pacific Northwest institution to be named, and was recognized for its teaching environment, among other areas.