By David Rasbach / The Bellingham Herald
Whatcom County’s number of confirmed B.1.1.7 variant COVID-19 cases grew to 14 last week, according to data released Thursday by the Washington State Department of Health, making Whatcom No. 2 in the state behind only King County.
The data was released in the Department of Health’s March 4 SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing and Variants in Washington State report.
Last week’s report showed Whatcom County had only one case of the B.1.1.7 variant — also known as the U.K. variant — but that total grew substantially as of Thursday’s report.
King County has the highest number of B.1.1.7 variant cases in the state with 43, followed by Whatcom’s 14. Pierce County has four, Clark and Island counties have three and Snohomish County has two, while Skagit County has one. Overall, the state has 70 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant.
The B.1.351 variant — also known as the South Africa variant — has not been found in Whatcom County, according to the report, as King County has all five cases diagnosed in the state so far.
The state still has not seen the P.1 variant — or Brazil variant — according to the release.
The Bellingham Herald has asked the Whatcom County Health Department for comment about the increase in variant cases.