WHATCOM ­— The Lynden and Nooksack Valley school districts continued this week to have the highest COVID rate counts in the county.

Those two locales stood at 341 and 244, respectively, on Tuesday, March 16, when the overall Whatcom rate was around 200. The time period was Feb. 28 through March 13.

Order reversed, the two areas had been at 425 and 524 for the previous week.

But across the county rates are going down.

The measure is per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, the standard metric the state will use in April to gauge whether a county stays in Phase 3 or reverts back to Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery plan.

These were the full new numbers this week (previous week in parentheses):

Lynden, 341 (425)

Nooksack Valley, 244 (524)

Ferndale, 194 (251)

Meridian, 139 (149) 

Mount Baker, 95 (272)

Blaine, 85 (165)

Bellingham, 78 (96)

Overall novel coronavirus numbers continue to be on a slow decline in the county since peaking in January.

The Lynden and Nooksack Valley districts, functioning as a geographical frame of reference, have been atop the COVID rate count for most of the Whatcom County Health Department’s local tallying of the pandemic.