Local Governments across Whatcom County are united in response to COVID-19 outbreak

Whatcom County and every local jurisdiction focusing combined resources

March 18, 2020 - by Joint Information Center, Whatcom Unified Command

Whatcom County and every local jurisdiction within it are focusing our combined resources on addressing the COVID-19 outbreak. The full scope of the impacts of this public health crisis is not yet clear, but it is certain to affect the life of every member of our community in one way or another.

In addition to the health impacts of COVID-19, our local economy and daily lives are being significantly affected. Schools and senior centers are closed, businesses are suffering, workers are shut out of their jobs, and this list of disruptions will undoubtedly grow in the coming weeks.

Our first priority as a community must be to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by following the guidelines and recommendations of the Whatcom County Health Department and Washington State Department of Health. We must also avoid panic and hoarding, which only exacerbates the situation.

Since January, your local government, following the lead of the Whatcom County Health Department, has been working tirelessly to address the crisis. Now, in an effort to further support the public health response, all Whatcom County governments have consolidated efforts under a Unified Command, so that issues such as border crossings, supply chain disruptions and economic impacts can be addressed through a single coordinated and common front. This Unified Command is comprised of the best and most qualified in Whatcom County from local, state, federal, tribal and private sector personnel.

A Policy Group made up of the County Executive, Mayors, County Councilmembers, Sheriff, Tribal leaders and key elected officials from Whatcom County provides recommendations to the Unified Command. This group will ensure that we have a consolidated, focused and direct interface between the citizens of Whatcom County and Unified Command.

In Whatcom County we are all faced with an unprecedented challenge. Every one of us need to now come together to support one another. As residents, please remember to help your neighbors, check in on seniors you know by phone or e-mail and be kind to each other. We are all in this together, and we will make it through.

  • Executive Satpal Sidhu, Whatcom County
  • Mayor Seth Fleetwood, City of Bellingham
  • Mayor Bonnie Onyon, City of Blaine
  • Mayor Kyle Christensen, City of Sumas
  • Mayor John Perry, City of Everson
  • Mayor James Ackerman, City of Nooksack
  • Mayor Greg Hansen, City of Ferndale
  • Mayor Scott Korthuis, City of Lynden
  • Chairman Ross Cline, Nooksack Indian Tribe
  • Chairman Lawrence Solomon, Lummi Indian Business Council
  • President Michael Shepard, Port of Bellingham
  • Sheriff Bill Elfo, Whatcom County Sheriff
  • Tyler Byrd, Whatcom County Council Member
  • Barry Buchanan, Whatcom County Council Member
  • Gene Knutson, Bellingham City Council Member​
  • Eric Richey, Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney

Media Contact

Whatcom Unified Command Joint Information Center

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