The City of Bellingham is adjusting some City operations due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, as City officials prioritize essential services and the safety of employees and the public.
For information about the availability of specific services, check the City website, the News page, and City Social Media pages for updates. Contact City departments individually for information on how to access services they provide, using the City Contacts webpage.
Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood said the City’s leadership team is carefully considering actions each City department can take to focus on priority services, expand social distancing, limit in-person services, and other steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and minimize the impact of temporary staffing shortages.
“During Monday’s City Council meeting, Whatcom County Health Department Director Erika Lautenbach and Co-Health Officer Dr. Greg Thompson presented sobering information on the current status of COVID in our community,” Fleetwood said. “Case counts are higher than they have ever been and continue to increase. Hospital admittances are equally high and continue to rise. We are seeing similar trends within our City workforce, with a rapid increase in exposures and positive cases. While most exposures are occurring outside of the workplace, the impacts are being seen in our operations with people calling out sick or quarantining.”
He said some City services may be temporarily curtailed when staffing levels impacted by illness or the need to quarantine inhibit the City’s ability to safely continue. For example, the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center closed on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, due to COVID-related staff shortage.
Fleetwood said that, while throughout the pandemic City staff have endeavored to provide timely, high-quality services regardless of challenges, the temporary staff shortages the City is facing with the current COVID spike may result in an overall slowdown of City responses to non-emergency requests.
“Thank you for your patience while City officials and staff focus on essential public services and the health of employees and the public,” he said.