COVID-19 Coronavirus Information Updates
Our hearts go out to all those affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus around the world. For our valued travelers to Bellingham and Whatcom County, we have prepared this Travel Advisory to share the latest and continuously updated information from Whatcom County health officials, the Washington State Department of Health, the US Department of State, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and many other state, national and international agencies, as well as local business and activity updates.
On March 23 Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued a statewide order that requires everyone in the state to stay home for two weeks unless they need to pursue an essential activity. All gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes are banned. All businesses except essential businesses are closed. The Seattle Times provides more information about what the order Does and Doesn’t Restrict.
On March 16 Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued a statewide emergency proclamation to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities in the state through March 31. Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services, but no in-person dining will be permitted. The ban does not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.”
Visit Bellingham has prepared a list of Restaurants Offering Take Out, Curbside Pickup and Delivery in Bellingham and Whatcom County.
Our visitor information centers are temporarily closed. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Our employees are still working. If you need visitor information, please email email@example.com. Full visitor information is at Bellingham.org
Bellingham and Whatcom County Update
- Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood issued a video urging all Bellingham residents to Stay Home.
- A single-source information and communication tool on behalf of the Whatcom County’s Unified Command Response to COVID-19 is now available online.
- The Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) is providing daily updates of its 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) case information based on disease surveillance activities. Current and total numbers of persons under public health supervision, persons under investigation, and confirmed cases are updated daily at https://whatcomcounty.us/ncov.
- On March 10, 2020 Whatcom County announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 and Satpal Sidhu, the Whatcom County Executive, in coordination with the Whatcom County Health Board, cautiously declared a Whatcom County public health emergency to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community, view full release here: Whatcom County Emergency Declaration and New Recommendations
- The Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) is reminding the public to take steps to protect their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, and has recommended the community should cancel or postpone non-essential gatherings of 10 people or more.
- Western Washington University has delayed spring quarter classes to Monday, April 6. All classes will be taught remotely for the full spring quarter. All on campus visit programs, tours and information sessions have been suspended. WWU has implemented a Coronavirus Information page for regular updates.
- Most public events in Bellingham and Whatcom County have been cancelled through the end of May.
- All Whatcom County Parks and Trails remain open, although many parks facilities are closed. Updates are on the Whatcom Parks & Recreation website.
- City of Bellingham has closed outdoor playgrounds, sports fields, fenced dog areas, bike parks, disc golf course and skate park. Parks and trails remain open.
- Port of Bellingham has closed its playgrounds, bike park, workout stations and the picnic shelter at Marine Park.
- City of Ferndale Parks are closed.
- Lummi Island Ferry has reduced service by switching to its dry dock schedule.
- Sign up for Whatcom County public alerts here
Everyone should take simple steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Cough and sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, then throw away the tissue.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you or a family member is sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces.
Allegiant Airlines Suspends Travel at Bellingham Airport
Due to the closure of the U.S.-Canada border to nonessential travel, Allegiant has temporarily suspended all operations at the Bellingham International Airport, effective March 24. Passengers who booked directly through Allegiant.com will be notified of any flight cancellations.
The governments of the United States and Canada made the decision to halt travel for tourism and recreation in an effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease / COVID-19. This border closure virtually overnight had a direct and profound impact on Bellingham flights, as the majority of Allegiant’s customers in Bellingham are leisure travelers from Canada.
Bellingham International Airport has been an Allegiant base since 2008, employing approximately 100 people. During this temporary suspension in service, we are formalizing potential options for our impacted employees.
Allegiant is tentatively targeting June 3 to return to flying, though any number of uncontrollable factors could impact the feasibility of that date – first and foremost, the timeline for reopening the Canadian border. Allegiant’s teams are in constant contact with both United States and Canadian officials, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other regulatory agencies, monitoring the latest developments.
Washington State Updates
- Governor Jay Insee has prohibited “all gatherings with over 50 participants unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.”
- Seattle and Kirkland are located in King County. Updated information about COVID-19 cases is on the King County Health Department website.
- Snohomish County and the City of Everett are located north of King County. Updated information about COVID-19 is on the Snohomish County website.
- Updated information from Visit Seattle is available here.
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA): Traveler updates are available on the Port of Seattle’s website
- Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to answer questions from the public. Call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. For additional information see the Washington State Department of Health website.
- A message from WA Dept of Commerce about Covid-19 business preparedness
- King County’s printable Planning for Coronavirus Pandemic: A guide for businesses and organizations
- Amtrak trains have suspended service north of Seattle until further notice.
- The Washington State Ferries call center will operate with limited service beginning Monday, March 23, when agents will begin working remotely based on COVID-19 health recommendations. However, agents will not have the ability to take credit card numbers over the phone, so they will not be able to make reservations or assist customers with ticket purchases. Customers can still call 206-464-6400 to speak with an agent or receive automated schedule and fare information. However, vehicle reservations will need to be made, changed or cancelled online. Refund requests can also be submitted online, and customers are highly encouraged to do so. Customers may also experience longer than normal hold times depending on call volumes.
- Camping on Washington State lands is closed through April 30.
United States Updates
- On March 11, 2020 President Trump signed a proclamation that restricts travel to the United States from foreign nationals who have recently been in certain European countries. This does not apply to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Read the full text of the proclamation here.
- On March 14, 2020 President Trump signed a proclamation that restricts travel to the United States from foreign nationals who have recently been in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This does not apply to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Read the full text of the proclamation here.
- On March 16, 2020 President Trump has recommended the public not hold gatherings of more than 10 people.
- The U.S. Department of State maintains a list of Level 4 Travel Advisories to several countries.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a Warning Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel to several countries.
- The U.S. Travel Association encourages travelers and the U.S. travel industry to monitor and follow guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (links and industry updates on the U.S. Travel Association web site)
- Travel industry talking Points (U.S. Travel Association)
- The U.S.- Canada border is currently closed to all non-essential travel.
- Additional information is on the Destination British Columbia website.