County number now at 21

WHATCOM ­— A second person who was a resident of Lynden Manor with COVID-19 passed away the  evening of Tuesday, April 7, the assisted-living facility reports.

  The person was in hospice care, meaning a prognosis of less than six months to live, states the Lynden Manor posting. The facility has used the phrase “with COVID-19” rather than “of” when a person had underlying conditions.
  The first death of a Lynden Manor resident, a woman in her 90s, was on April 1.
  There are now 10 remaining residents with the coronavirus who “are all doing well so far,” states the April 8 posting. “One resident that had symptoms and was diagnosed at the beginning of last week appears to be recovering. The remaining 9 residents remain fever free and are not reporting any new symptoms.”
  However, one staff member at Lynden Manor was identified with COVID-19 last weekend, while three others’ results came back negative. Two more tests were still pending. The Whatcom County Health Department has agreed to test any staff person with symptoms.
  The Manor is working with Whatcom Unified Command, the county COVID-19 response center, to have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for residents and staff.
  The Manor also says it is working with the Washington governor’s office to assist families in connecting with residents who are abiding by the restrictive “social distancing” guidelines. The representative  “has made several phone calls already and his goal is to call all of the families by the end of the week to give information and set up video conferencing for families that are interested. We know the residents are getting restless and we are looking for ways to keep them entertained,” the Manor posted.
  The Shuksan Healthcare Center of Bellingham is linked to now eight of Whatcom County’s COVID-19 deaths, after a former long-term resident there in her 60s died last weekend, according to a news release.
  • As of Thursday, April 9, the Whatcom County death toll from the novel coronavirus had reached 21. That was up two from Monday. 
  The number of confirmed cases in the county rose to 241, up three in a day.
  The Washington state numbers through April 7 were: 421 deaths and 9,097 total cases of COVID-19. Among counties, Whatcom had the third-most deaths in the state after King (242) and Snohomish (62), although Yakima and Benton counties were close behind at 18.
  • Whatcom Unified Command is organizing delivery of food to homebound high-risk individuals and families who aren’t able to buy food but can’t get to food bank locations. This is a partnership with the Opportunity Council and the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County.
  Also, Unified Command is readying a facility for those with COVID-19 symptoms who need isolation or quarantine but can’t safely remain in their homes or don’t have the resources to stay safe. 
  In April 6 at WUC’s recommendation, County Executive Satpal Sidhu signed a contract with the owners of Motel 6, on Byron Avenue in south Bellingham, to be this isolation and quarantine facility. The motel is vacant and for sale.
  This spot is expected to open the week of April 12. Other facilities may be set up elsewhere in the county as needed.
  • The Bellingham Farmers Market — considered to be an essential business under the state’s guidelines, just like grocery stores — is scheduled to open for the season April 11 with the support of the Whatcom County Health Department.
  All social distancing and personal protective actions should be observed if attending the downtown Bellingham market. Access will limited to a single entry and exit point.