COVID infection rates increase in 3 Whatcom regions

Bozz District

CORRECTION: The Whatcom County Health Department released COVID-19 case totals for the pandemic on April 1, and data has been updated throughout this story. Corrected Apr 1, 2021 Three school district regions in Whatcom County saw their COVID-19 infection rates increase last week, though all seven regions were below 250 […]

CORRECTION: The Whatcom County Health Department released COVID-19 case totals for the pandemic on April 1, and data has been updated throughout this story.

Corrected Apr 1, 2021

Three school district regions in Whatcom County saw their COVID-19 infection rates increase last week, though all seven regions were below 250 for the first time since Thanksgiving.

The regions covered by the Bellingham, Mount Baker and Nooksack Valley school districts all saw their number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks rise when the Whatcom County Health Department released its latest location data on March 30. They are the first regions to see their respective infection rates grow in three weeks.

Despite the increases, the infection rates in Bellingham and Mount Baker remained below 100, along with the Blaine. Meridian also saw its infection rate nearly cut in half to join those three regions below triple digits.

The county health department releases weekly data on the location of COVID-19 cases using school districts as geographical boundaries, including each region’s number of total cases during the pandemic and their infection rates. Data in the Tuesday, March 30, report was through Saturday, March 27, and the infection rates reflect cases between March 14 and 27.

Overall, Whatcom County saw a 1.9% growth in cases (137 cases) since the last data released on March 23 — down from the 2.6% growth and 180 new cases the county reported the previous week.

With 317 cases the past two weeks, Whatcom County has an overall infection rate of 140.9, based on 225,300 residents in the county. Three of the county’s regions had infection rates higher than that mark, according to the county’s data.

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Here is what the health department’s latest data showed for the seven regions in the county:

Bellingham: Up 2.8% (70 cases) since the March 23 report to 2,582 total cases, and the rate of new infections per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days increased from 76 to 92.

Blaine: Up 0.7% (three cases) since the March 23 report to 431 total cases, and the rate of new infections per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days decreased from 80 to 57.

Ferndale: Up 1.5% (21 cases) since the March 23 report to 1,449 total cases, and the rate of new infections per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days decreased from 188 to 149.

Lynden: Up 1.9% (23 cases) since the March 23 report to 1,227 total cases, and the rate of new infections per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days decreased from 301 to 227.

Meridian: Up 0.3% (one case) since the March 23 report to 373 total cases, and the rate of new infections per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days decreased from 111 to 56.

Mount Baker: Up 2.3% (nine cases) since the March 23 report to 381 total cases, and the rate of new infections per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days increased from 51 to 95.

Nooksack Valley: Up 1.4% (10 cases) since the March 23 report to 707 total cases, and the rate of new infections per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days increased from 190 to 217.

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David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.

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