Pack a lunch, don a mask: kids go back to school in person as COVID-19 persists
In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, students are dusting off backpacks, packing lunches — and picking out masks to accompany their back-to-school outfits.
No new reservations, for now: Living and working around ferry delays, cancellations in the San Juans
This year’s peak-season summer Washington State Ferries sailing schedule has been plagued by delayed and canceled sailings, some due to a shortage of crew and some to mechanical problems. For the long Labor Day weekend, things are not looking much brighter for the San Juan Islands runs.
Skagit fair sates longing for fun and ‘normalcy’ in face of COVID-19
After a year’s hiatus, the Skagit County Fair resumed Aug. 11-14 with an increased attendance over past years — despite COVID-19 infections spiking in the county.
Whatcom director among public health leaders stressed by threats, resistance re pandemic management
Email threats, irate officials and dealing with misinformation have become part of the job for stress-filled public health workers, including the director of Whatcom County’s health department.
Local courts work to catch up on COVID-backlog delays in delivering justice
Courts in Whatcom County are trying to regain the flow of delivering justice that was in play prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown — and the recovery is proceeding differently at each level of the court system.
Whatcom council axes young adult social media COVID campaign despite vaccination success
In January, Whatcom County began an awareness campaign to engage young adults with information about COVID-19 safety. On June 29, a tie vote by the county council nixed an extension of the campaign.
Who’s getting their shots? Whatcom develops a new strategy for COVID-19 vaccinations
Whatcom County health officials are now reporting COVID-19 vaccine rates in the county by school district, enabling a new, more strategic approach to making vaccine opportunities available to reach the largest number of people and those with access problems.
Community Voices / Local team launches innovative approach to help curb climate change
We must act, not just worry, and use as many solutions as possible to curb climate change as we can, say a team of professors, graduate fellows, student interns and sustainability professionals working on one solution for Whatcom County — that can be replicated anywhere.
Late data delays Whatcom County districting; US Census blames COVID-19
A months-long delay in the delivery of 2020 U.S. Census data has compelled the 2021 Whatcom Districting Committee to postpone updating county voting district maps, despite the county charter’s strict May 1 deadline on map generation and submission.
Pandemic job loss, quarantine, anxieties fuel opioid use surge
The physical and emotional toll wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures has been accompanied by an increase in opioid use and related deaths over the past year — after five years of decline — in Washington state. At the same time, use of even more dangerous synthetic opioids is becoming more prevalent, making the increased use even more hazardous.
‘Crazy’ high school sports seasons arrive … better late than never
High school athletics have finally returned in Whatcom County after being delayed through the first half of academic calendars by COVID-19 restrictions.
From the Editor’s Desk / Young adults weigh risks in choosing to mask, distance in COVID-19 fight
To help stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, young adults are making choices that range from the hard decision to curtail visits home to see family, to feeling safely unmasked with family or select friends.
Masked young adults key to beating COVID in the long term
With the number of COVID-19 cases in Whatcom County spiking among young adults, the county council has approved a public awareness campaign to influence young adults to adopt safer COVID-19 behaviors and help end the pandemic.
Doing the work of the people: legislation introduced by 40th and 42nd District legislators
A month into the 2021 state legislative session, it’s time to review the legislation introduced by our elected representatives as of this week.
Local food banks have been addressing a hunger crisis — even before COVID
Even before the pandemic lockdowns caused unemployment to skyrocket, food banks worked to help millions of Americans who were not able to feed their families.
Business has been good — if not better — for some local enterprises, despite pandemic
Not all businesses are struggling during the pandemic, as some have seen upticks in business as people navigate the “new normal” nearly a year into the pandemic.