BELLINGHAM — Testing has revealed that more than two dozen residents and six staff members at the Shuksan Healthcare Center in Whatcom County are infected with the novel coronavirus, health officials announced late Sunday.
The Whatcom County Health Department said it also recently learned that the second COVID-19-related death in Whatcom County, announced Saturday, was associated with the Shuksan outbreak.
That man, in his 80s, had been a resident at the center. He got sick after he was discharged on March 10. The positive test result was confirmed Saturday, the day after he died, the center said.
The outbreak is among the residents most vulnerable to infections by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. An outbreak at the Life Care Center of Kirkland infected more than 82 residents. As of Wednesday, 35 of them had died.
“The Whatcom County Health Department recognizes the significance and impact of this situation,” said Mark Raaka, the health department’s emergency preparedness specialist. “We are working with Shuksan Healthcare Center to do everything possible for all patients, their families and staff.”
The Sunday announcement brings the total number of current cases associated with Shuksan Healthcare Center to 32. Of the total number of confirmed cases at Shuksan Healthcare Center, 26 are residents and six are staff. All residents continue to be cared for at the facility.
The total number of cases in Whatcom County was at 48 as of late Sunday.
Staff writer Ron Judd contributed reporting.