WHATCOM — A positive case of coronavirus is in the Lynden Manor building on Aaron Drive. Announced in an online Facebook post Saturday evening, it is the first publicly known case of the COVID-19 virus in Lynden.
This was the post:
“The Coronavirus is horrible disease ripping through the country. There are 16 assisted-living/skilled-nursing facilities in Washington state that have coronavirus in them. We are now being added to that list as the numbers keep growing. We have been watching symptoms for weeks and any residents with symptoms (including low-grade fever and/or dry cough) have been asked to isolate in their rooms.
“All non-essential services are cancelled, and all residents are asked to stay in their rooms. All staff and necessary vendors must wear masks at all times and any residents in the halls must wear masks also.
“Family that wish to take their loved ones home to stay with them until we are cleared of the virus are able to do so, but be assured that all precautions are being made to keep everyone safe that remains with us.
“We want to thank all of our staff for their determined and compassionate efforts!
A subsequent post on Sunday apologized to any employees of Lynden Manor who found out about the case from the Facebook post. However, the Tribune confirmed independently that there is a positive COVID-19 case at the Manor.
On Sunday morning, Lynden Mayor Scott Korthuis also sent out a message on social media and for the Lynden Tribune to share.
The mayor said the three largest facilities in Lynden that specialize in caring for seniors — Lynden Manor, Meadow Greens and the Christian Health Care Center — are working diligently to provide good care and safety for the community’s most vulnerable population.
This is the mayor’s message in full:
“Five generations of my family have called Lynden home. I have been its Mayor for more than 10 years and never imagined we would see a crisis like this.
“The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has wreaked worldwide havoc. And now it has reached us. As of Saturday, March 21, the Whatcom Department of Health indicates 14 cases and two deaths in our county.
“It is challenging, but we must all follow the advice of medical experts: Wash our hands often or use sanitizers if we cannot use soap and water, don’t touch our faces, practice “social distancing,” avoid unnecessary trips and interactions, and remain at home if you have symptoms.
“I am very pleased to hear, and personally observe, that our citizens appear to be following these Health Department and CDC protocols. Thank you, everyone, for being socially responsible. Extraordinary times require extraordinary efforts and we must all do our part.
“It is a blessing that the necessities we rely on are still available and, according to local grocers, the supply chain is not in jeopardy. Our grocery stores are well-stocked except for cleaning supplies. Stores are restocked daily and most items are available until late in the day. So friends, please, this is not a time to hoard— this is a time to buy what you know you will need and leave the rest for your neighbors. Spread the word that most stores now have early morning hours dedicated to allow folks with compromised health to shop in better isolation.
“Our schools are providing lunches for students who need them. Citizens are rising to the occasion and supplying our local food bank, Project Hope, with food donations and cash donations which will equip this effective and efficient faith-based organization to respond to individual cases of hardship and loss.
“Our three largest facilities that specialize in caring for seniors — Lynden Manor, Meadow Greens and the Christian Health Care Center — are working diligently to provide good care and keeping our very most vulnerable population safe. But isolation is hard on our elderly family members so let’s reach out to them daily by phone or notes. Consider assigning your school-age children to create cheery cards that can be distributed to lonely residents.
“Now, more than ever, your City organization has doubled-down on its commitment to serve the community. Being proactive, your City Council signed a Declaration of Emergency on March 17 should we need to act on it. Our Police and Fire Departments are fully staffed and fully deployed. The Public Works crews make sure we have fresh water and sewer services.
“Our City Hall lobby is closed, but all services are still available, in person by appointment. Please conduct business by phone, internet or drop box, if possible. Check the City’s website (www.lyndenwa.org) for the phone numbers you need.
“The Coronavirus threat wants us to turn inward, to hunker down, avoid our neighbors, our churches, to shutter our windows. But that is not how this community has ever operated and this is what really adds to our challenge, I know.
“Let’s not panic or live in state of fear. The fundamentals that have always made our community unique and special are the same things that will see us through this crisis — our faith and trust in God, personal responsibility, our care for our neighbors, a deep sense of community, and selfless charity. Now is the time to draw upon these things to help us pull together to weather this storm. When we are on the other side of this pandemic, may it ultimately be said of Lynden that we loved each other (John 13:34-35)."