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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: July 29, 2020

Two new charts added to Whatcom County’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard

We’ve added two new charts to our Data Dashboard page today to provide more information about COVID-19 activity in our county.

The first is a map that shows the rate of newly identified cases over the previous 14 days by location of residence within Whatcom County, using school district boundaries. This is a change from how we were previously reporting this data, which was the cumulative rate since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

For Washington State, the goal is to have less than 25 cases per 100,000 residents in the past two weeks. This graph shows us how school district geographies are doing compared to this metric, and it also shows the total count of cases identified since March. 

The map below shows where people who have had cases identified live. It doesn’t necessarily show where those individuals were exposed to COVID-19 because people may live in one district but spend time in another. Still, this helps us better understand how COVID-19 is being experienced differently in our county based on location. 

COVID Map of Rates and Cumulative Cases By School District July 25

The second chart (below) provides historical data of newly identified cases in each school district, beginning in March. This chart shows how different locations in Whatcom County have been impacted at different times with lines that move up and down indicating the number of new infections that were reported over the previous two weeks. For example, the datapoint for July 25 includes the total number of new cases confirmed between July 12 and July 25.

COVID Historical Line Graph by School District July 25

Due to the smaller population sizes in some of these geographic areas, there may be a lot of variability in confirmed cases and case rates each week. Because some of these school districts have small populations, the rate might bounce around a lot from one week to another based on only small changes in the number of cases from one week to the next.

These two charts indicate that this is a very mobile virus and that it can spike quickly. Regardless of where you live or work, the best ways to keep these rates low are to continue physical distancing of at least six feet between individuals, wearing masks, frequent hand washing, and staying home when sick except to get tested.

For more data about COVID-19 in Whatcom County, have a look at the Data Dashboard on our website.

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