Cases of COVID-19 in Whatcom County were on a rise from Sept. 8 through Sept. 19. Figures for this week were not included. (Courtesy visual)

Pace has picked up since Sept. 8

WHATCOM — The number of COVID-19 cases in the county is not trending in the right direction, said the county Health Department in a Tuesday, Sept. 22 news release.

Whatcom County has seen an increase of new cases over the last two weeks, defying a downward trend in new COVID-19 cases statewide. “It’s more important than ever to continue to practice prevention behaviors as the risk of COVID-19 transmission remains high,” health authorities say. 

According to a report released earlier this week by the Washington State Department of Health, COVID-19 activity is decreasing statewide. The report also makes clear that while there is a decline in case counts throughout the state, activity varies from county to county.

Whatcom County continues to experience increasing positive cases of COVID-19. In the most recent two-week stretch, measured from Sept. 8 through Sept. 19, COVID-19 positive cases increased by nearly 115,  moving up from 1,150 to 1,264. Data for the most recent days are considered preliminary and are not yet complete.

“Our cases are trending the wrong direction,” said Erika Lautenbach, director of the Whatcom County Health Department. “For the sake of our friends, neighbors and co-workers, it is vital that we continue to do all we can to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

The Whatcom County Health Department’s data dashboard and risk assessment dashboard update will be suspended until a data discrepancy in the Washington State Department of Health’s data set has been corrected. The county’s data dashboard was last updated on Saturday, Sept. 19, and the risk assessment dashboard was last updated on Friday, Sept. 18. 

State Health discovered and announced the error in its data set on Monday, Sept. 21, which affected both the COVID-19 data dashboard and COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard. Both dashboards were suspended Monday, but were expected to come back online Tuesday afternoon. Since WCHD uses the state’s dashboard for its data visualizations, WCHD’s dashboards will be suspended as well until the state’s dashboards are back online.

For more information, visit the Whatcom County Health Department’s COVID-19 resource page or Whatcom Unified Command.