|Whatcom Unified Command|
Yes, Whatcom County is Still in Phase 1 of Reopening
Right now, staying home except for essential trips is limiting the spread of COVID-19. The Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive is still in place and Whatcom County is still in Phase 1 of the “Safe Start” plan for reopening. Moving to Phase 2 doesn’t happen automatically when the current executive order expires on May 31. Moving to Phase 2 happens when we meet certain public health criteria.
Being in Phase 1 means:
How Does Whatcom County Get to Phase 2?
You’ve probably heard that some counties in Washington can apply for a variance to move into Phase 2. To do that, we must first have an average of less than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. For Whatcom County that means we’d have to have fewer than 22.5 cases in the past two weeks. During the two weeks from May 11-25, we’ve had 37 new cases, an average of 16.4 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days. Another way to look at that is that we would need no more than 1.6 new cases on average each day for 14 days, and our daily average has been 2.6.
What You Can Do to Keep Us Moving Toward Phase 2
The Whatcom County Health Department has traced many of our recent confirmed cases to formal settings such as work, and informal settings such as Mother’s Day parties, where people were less than six feet apart, for more than 15 minutes. This includes interactions like sharing food, food preparation spaces, and bathrooms. Remember that gathering together is risky because you can spread the virus before you even feel sick. Some people have to gather in essential workplaces, and that’s why it’s important that employers are taking steps to protect their employees too.
The quickest way to move to Phase 2 is to limit the spread of the virus. That means staying home as much as possible and only going out for essential trips. Practice good habits like social distancing and wearing a face covering in public whenever you can’t maintain six feet from others who don’t live with you.
The fewer interactions we have with people outside of our household, the fewer chances there will be to spread the virus. If we want to bring Whatcom County safely into Phase 2, we must all work together, six feet apart.
We are also working to ensure Whatcom County meets other important milestones to move to Phase 2. These are things like:
You can find out more about the plan to reopen Washington, and the activities of each phase in the full.
May 27th “Unified Command Whatcom”. Still not our of Phase 1Charlie Crabtree2020-05-27T13:16:53-07:00