Individuals, Families & Households

Last updated: Friday, October 2, 4:06 p.m. 

This is the latest guidance for individuals, families and households to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Whatcom County.


Assessing Your Risk

Each of us assess risks differently. When it comes to COVID-19, the risks you take affect you personally, and they also affect your community. Each decision you make about what activities to participate requires thinking through risk factors.  Read our June 25 news flash, How safe is it? A guide to COVID-19 risk, for guidance on assessing your risk. 

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What to Do if You Are Sick or Have Been Exposed

See our Frequently Asked Questions page for information on what to do if you are sick with COVID-19 or think you may have been exposed to the virus.

Preventing COVID-19 Infection

Personal prevention habits are effective for preventing COVID-19 infection and help make community-wide actions more effectiveThese are important action steps everyone should take to protect their health:

  • Watch for symptoms  and get tested if you think you have been exposed.
  • Wear a mask in public and private settings. Make sure you choose the right mask.
  • Maintain physical distancing: avoid crowded areas and stay at least 6 ft away from people you don't live with.
  • Socialize safely
    • Gather small, stick to five people outside of your household per week.
    • Keep gatherings outside.
    • Wear your mask when getting together.
    • Keep gatherings short.
  • Practice healthy habits:
  • If you have a caregiver, they should also take special precautions (PDF). (Also available in other languages.)
  • As much as possible, stay local: choose fun destinations close to home this summer to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Financial Support

Many of us have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you, or someone you know, are in need of financial assistance, programs and resources are available

What's Allowed

Guidance for Specific Groups

People at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness

Those who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness should take extra precautions to prevent exposure to the virus.The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) define people at higher risk as:

  • People aged 65 years and older. Guidance on risk decision making for older adults is available in our news flash
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who have weakened immune systems, including those who have undergone cancer treatment
  • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40)
  • People with certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease
  • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness; however, data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk

Detailed guidance for people at higher risk is available from the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control

Caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home. Anyone who has questions about whether their condition puts them at risk for severe illness resulting from novel coronavirus should consult with their healthcare providers.

Guidance for Children and Families

Maternal and Child Health 

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