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Ferndale area events cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns

FERNDALE, Wash. — The recent daily flood of media and government agency communications regarding the progress of the COVID-19 virus has increased concerns and subsequently resulted in the cancellation or postponing of the following Ferndale area community events.

  • Pancake breakfast at Church Road Station
    Whatcom County Fire District 7
    March 14th
  • CPR training at Washington Street Station
    Whatcom County Fire District 7
    March 14th
  • St Patrick’s Day Dinner
    Ferndale Senior Activity Center
    March 17th
  • Monthly pancake breakfast
    Ferndale Senior Activity Center
    March 21st
  • Ferndale Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival
    City of Ferndale
    March 28th

Contact MFN if you have canceled a community event this month and we will add it to the list.

The COVID-19 virus has been showing up around the world since it was first identified mid-December in China. Data is lacking as to how it can be expected to impact infected patients in the United States since most of the available data comes from other countries with different abilities to react according to a recent Popular Science article.

To calculate a reasonable mortality rate, we need as much data as possible. For now, most of the data we have on COVID-19 is coming from a region that is not particularly well-poised to keep people from dying.

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From Popular Science – “What the official COVID-19 mortality rate actually means” by Rachel Feltman

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath; all symptoms similar to the common cold or flu.

Whatcom County Health Department reported on March 5th there were 0 confirmed cases in Whatcom County while test results were pending for 6 people. 2 persons were being monitored since they had been in close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case or because they had recently traveled from an affected geographic area.

There are cases in Washington State, so the risk of exposure is increasing, though risk is still relatively low.

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Whatcom County Health Department – March 5, 2020

In Washington state, as of March 5th, there have been 70 cases that tested positive for COVID-19 and 10 reported deaths according to the Washington State Department of Health. They occurred in 3 counties as follows:

  • Snohomish County – 18 tested positive, 1 death
  • King County – 51 tested positive, 9 deaths
  • Grant County – 1 tested positive

Since COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those from the common cold and flu, many will stay home and treat their symptoms as they would when infected by these common ailments. As a result, they are not likely to be included in the data from which the mortality rates would be calculated.

Below is a March 5th snapshot from a live dashboard published by Johns Hopkins University with a map that shows locations and density of all (past and present) confirmed COVID-19 cases (larger circles indicate higher concentrations of cases).

Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard as of March 5th, 2020

The same protocols for reducing the chance of getting a cold or flu are being advised by health agencies for those looking to reduce the chance of becoming infected with COVID-19. They include:

To avoid infection: Avoid contact with people who are sick. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands often with soap or water. Do not share personal items and clean frequently touched surfaces with soap and water.

To avoid spreading the virus: If you are sick, stay home. When seeking medical care, wear a face mask and keep your distance from others. If someone in your house is sick, stay home to avoid the potential for spreading the virus to others.

Do not attend large events, such as sporting events, conferences or other community events if you are sick, do not feel well, or someone in your home is sick. If you aren’t sick, consider your risk of getting COVID-19 at the event before you go. 

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