Dear Members, Volunteers, Friends & Guests,

Washington State and The City of Bellingham’s local emergency Covid-19 proclamations will be lifted effective October 31, 2022.  A September 8th press release from the office of Governor Jay Inslee stated, “We’ve come a long way the past two years in developing the tools that allow us to adapt and live with COVID-19. Ending this order does not mean we take it less seriously or will lose focus on how this virus has changed the way we live. We will continue our commitments to the public’s well-being, but simply through different tools that are now more appropriate for the era we’ve entered.”

In keeping with local and state governments the Whatcom Council on Aging (WCOA) is removing the Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement for participation in person programs and activities at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center (BSAC) beginning November 1st.

When making the decision to lift the vaccine requirement the WCOA Board of Directors took many factors into consideration. From vaccination rates to the availability of treatments such as antiviral medications and the availability of masks and at home test kits. Over 80% of the population in Whatcom County aged 65+ are fully vaccinated with at least one booster shot.

While we know there are unvaccinated friends of the Center who are anxious and excited to return when the requirement is lifted, we also know others may feel trepidation. I want to assure you that we will continue to follow best practices to help minimize the spread of the Covid-19 virus at BSAC.

What you can still expect at BSAC:

  • We will follow and enforce protocols for Covid-19 exposures and when positive cases arise.
  • WCOA reserves the option to re-implement a mask requirement if recommended by public health officials or at the discretion of the WCOA Board.
  • We encourage everyone to stay home when they are sick, and when necessary will send persons home.
  • Staff  will maintain ventilation with open windows and where appropriate fans.

As we know masking is our best tool to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Virus. Some groups at BSAC may require masks to participate. I encourage you to keep up-to date on vaccinations including boosters. And, if you are at very high risk, please talk with your health care provider about additional prevention actions.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Molly Simon

BSAC Director

[email protected] | 360-733-4030 ext. 1020