Whatcom’s weekly COVID-19 infection rate drops to its lowest mark since late April

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Whatcom County’s weekly COVID-19 infection rate last week dropped below 200 for the first time since late April, and the state reduced the number of COVID-related deaths in the county by four.

Whatcom County now has had a total of 43,069 COVID cases during the pandemic, according to the latest report Friday, July 1, by the Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 Data Dashboard, including 37,707 confirmed cases and 5,362 probable cases, resulting from a positive antigen test not confirmed by a molecular test.

The county’s 466 reported cases last week were up from the 435 reported by the state a week earlier.

But Whatcom’s weekly COVID-19 infection rate dropped to 191 new cases per 100,000 residents for the most recently completed epidemiological data from June 16 to June 22. That was down from the county’s rate of 208 one week earlier (June 9-15) and the lowest rate Whatcom County has seen since it stood at 183 for April 20-26.

St. Joseph’s hospital in Bellingham reported it was treating 14 COVID-related patients on Tuesday, July 5. Over the past week, the hospital’s daily snapshot has averaged 14.6 COVID-related patients per day, which is up from 10.4 one week earlier (June 21-27) and represents 5.8% of the hospital’s 252 inpatient beds.

Here is what data on the state dashboard showed for Whatcom County through Friday:

1,712 COVID-related hospitalizations during the pandemic, including 23 hospitalizations reported last week, which was up from 21 the week before. Whatcom has a weekly COVID-related hospitalization rate of 7.0 new patients per 100,000 residents for the most recently completed epidemiological data from June 16-22, which was down from 9.7 one week earlier (June 9-15). Approximately 4.0% of all COVID cases in Whatcom County during the pandemic have resulted in hospitalization.

307 COVID-related deaths during the pandemic, which was a decrease of four from what was reported a week earlier. The state has routinely updated death data as more information becomes available. Approximately 0.7% of all COVID cases in Whatcom County during the pandemic have resulted in death.

15.4% of the 2,939 COVID tests in Whatcom County reported to the state between June 15 and June 21 returned a positive result. That percentage was up from the 14.8% of the 3,228 test results reported a week earlier (June 8-14).

400,525 COVID vaccinations have been administered within the county — an increase of 1,325 doses last week — with 69.4% of all Whatcom County residents (158,307 people) completing an initial vaccination series. Of those eligible to receive a booster, 60.3% (92,890 people) have done so.

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