Submitted by: Whatcom County Health Department

Two additional Whatcom County residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 have died as a result of the illness. This brings the total number of deaths due to novel coronavirus in Whatcom County to four.

One individual, a female in her 90s, was a resident at Shuksan Healthcare Center. She passed away at the facility on March 25. The other individual, a male in his 90s, was previously a resident at Summit Place Assisted Living, also in Bellingham. He died while in hospital being treated for COVID-19.

“Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family and loved ones of these two individuals,” said John Wolpers, Incident Commander for Whatcom Unified Command, on behalf of the Whatcom County Health Department. “We know this is a sad and painful time, and we mourn with them.”

“We also extend deep gratitude and respect for the healthcare workers who are at the forefront of caring for our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Wolpers. “We know that their work is absolutely vital, and they are doing everything they can to provide the best possible care.”

Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) has also learned of additional confirmed cases at a small number of long term care facilities in the county. The WCHD is working with each of the facilities to determine further testing needs and conduct contact investigations. Whatcom Unified Command (WUC) – which comprises the Whatcom County Health Department, Whatcom County, PeaceHealth, the City of Bellingham and other COVID-19 response agencies – are also assessing any additional resource needs for these facilities and will work to address them. More detailed information about this response will be available soon.

WUC has been supporting Shuksan Healthcare Center by coordinating staffing of nurses, and by providing meals and personal protective equipment for the Center. WUC is working in conjunction with long term care facilities throughout the county to ensure that resource and staffing needs are provided for in order to maintain the best possible care for residents.

For more information on novel coronavirus

This is an emerging outbreak with rapidly evolving information. Updates will be made as new information is available on the Whatcom Unified Command COVID website, the Whatcom County Health Department website and the Washington State coronavirus website.

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