PeaceHealth taking gifts of personal protective equipment
WHATCOM — In two days the county’s number of coronavirus cases has risen by 16, to 66, although from Tuesday to Wednesday it was only two, as reported by the Whatcom County Health Department at noon each day.
The number of deaths from COVID-19 in Whatcom County remains at two, a number that has held steady for five days. There have been 336 negative test results in the county.
The Health Department is now reporting only a total number of confirmed cases and deaths, no longer including an age bracket and gender of individual cases.
Statewide, the numbers as of Wednesday noon, March 25, were 2,469 cases and 123 deaths.
A few of the state’s 39 counties still do not have a confirmed case of novel coronavirus, including the largest one, Okanogan, and several of the least populated.
• In response to Gov. Inslee’s “stay home, stay healthy” order now in effect, the Ferndale Police Department has posted this understanding to the public:
“We are not being asked to detain, arrest, ticket or establish checkpoints for compliance. Rumors of strict law enforcement or ‘martial law’ are not true.
“Instead, our role is educating residents on how to keep themselves safe, how to keep their families safe and, most importantly, keep the rest of the community safe, especially our vulnerable populations.
“We understand some people need to carry out essential services, especially those working in health care, transportation, communications, energy, safety and security, and providing food, water and shelter.
“When officers encounter people not complying with an order, we will remind them, as appropriate, of the recommendation and restrictions. No law enforcement agencies have any desire to make any arrests or take anybody to jail for violations of the stay-at-home order. Rumors of individuals or businesses needing ‘passes’ or ‘licenses’ to conduct essential services are not true.
“Rest assured we will continue to serve you every minute of every day and we will always enforce the laws that keep people safe.”
• PeaceHealth is accepting community donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) for its workers during the COVID-19 response. Needed are N-95 masks, hand-sewn face masks, eye shields, goggles and gloves.
People who are interested in sewing masks are asked to first view a video accessible off the website peacehealth.org and follow the instructions given there. (Please pre-shrink fabric prior to making a mask.) If masks have already been made using a different design template, bring them in and they will be evaluated.
Take all donations, between 4 and 6 p.m. only, to the drop-off location for the Whatcom County Unified Command Center, 4233 Guide Meridian Rd., Suite 101. You can contact Rud Browne, donation branch director for Whatcom County, at WUC_Donations@co.whatcom.wa.us with any questions. To give cash to the PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, go to: https://www.peacehealth.org/foundation/st-joseph/donate-now.
• All state-managed campgrounds in Washington are closed through April 30 in response to the governor’s “stay home, stay healthy” order.
All parks, wildlife areas and water access areas operated by departments of Parks & Recreation, Fish & Wildlife and Natural Resources are closed at least to April 8.
• Whatcom Transportation Authority is reducing its main bus service effective March 30.
All five weekdays will have what is normally the Saturday level of service and Saturdays and Sundays will have the Sunday level of service.
This means Monday through Friday runs begin at 8 a.m. for most routes and paratransit.
WTA general manager Pete Stark said he realizes public transportation is an essential service and so a lower level of service could present a hardship to some. “However, to keep transit running for the duration of this emergency, this is a necessary step.”
WTA’s Zone Service, which provides limited dial-a-ride service to rural communities one or two days per week, will not be reduced at this time.
Riders with questions can call 360-676-7433.
• The Whatcom Business Alliance has compiled a resources guide for local businesses as they navigate through the coronavirus challenge and struggle to survive. The links are at: https://whatcombusinessalliance.com/business-resources/.
The topics of information include:
° small business assistance and state and federal programs providing support.
° paid sick leave, workers’ compensation, workplace safety and health.
° COVID-19-related relief for taxpayers.
° emergency rules regarding temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses.
° financial assistance, export assistance, insurance assistance, employer and worker assistance.
° disaster assistance for Washington businesses impacted by COVID-10.
° low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury.
For health-related updates and reports, go to the Washington State Department of Health website: www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus.
• Co-owner Terry Treat report that The Inn at Lynden is open and “taking all measures to keep everyone safe.”
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