Public Health to Close Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site After January 28, 2022

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November 19, 2021

The Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site will close permanently after Friday, January 28, 2022. The site, located at 501 Taylor Street in Mount Vernon, has operated since November of 2020, with a temporary closure between July – August 2021. Prior to this, COVID-19 testing was provided by Public Health at Skagit Valley College.

To date, Public Health has administered approximately 55,492 vaccine doses in Skagit County. Since the Fairgrounds reopened in August 2021, over 11,400 antigen tests have been conducted. When the site closes, Public Health’s COVID-19 response will have included 17 months of testing (no services between March – July 2021), and 13 months of vaccination services.

“We are extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished at the Fairgrounds. After nearly a year and a half of providing critical pandemic response services to our community, its time for our staff to shift and refocus on the many other responsibilities that fall on Public Health.” 

Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director

Antigen testing will continue to be offered until the site closes after January 28. Testing is available to people 5 years and older who live, work, or go to school in Skagit County and who are symptomatic or have been recently exposed to COVID-19. No appointment or insurance is required for testing services.

First, second, and third doses of vaccine for people 12 years and older will also continue to be offered—no appointment required—through January 28. The final day to receive a first dose of vaccine with a second dose guaranteed at the Fairgrounds will be January 17, 2022. After this date, people will be required to seek their second dose elsewhere.

The final day to book an appointment for a COVID-19 booster will be November 24, 2021. To make an appointment for a booster, go to https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/ and search for “Skagit County Public Health.”

Lastly, beginning December 1, 2021, the Fairgrounds will be increasing the daily number of pediatric vaccine appointments for children 5-11 years old. Please note that at this time, appointments are still limited. To schedule a pediatric vaccine appointment, go to https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/ and search for “Skagit County Public Health,” or use Vaccine Locator to find another provider. 

For a full list of testing and vaccination providers in Skagit County, visit our website at www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #. 


Skagit Fairgrounds Testing & Vaccine Site Closed November 15 and 16

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November 15, 2021

The Skagit Fairgrounds Testing & Vaccine Site will be closed on Monday, November 15 and Tuesday, November 16 due to flooding and high winds. The site will reopen on Thursday, November 18 assuming that there are no serious impacts to the area from flooding and high winds.

“It is our priority to protect the health and safety of our staff and volunteers at the Fairgrounds site,” said Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director. “When it is safe to reopen the site, we will do so.” 

Flooding is expected to continue in Skagit County throughout the days of November 15 and November 16. As of 4:00 am this morning, the Skagit River is forecasted to crest in Mount Vernon at 37.46 feet at 10:00 am on Tuesday, November 16. High winds and falling trees are also of concern with the grounds saturated from rainwater.

Due to the Fairgrounds remaining closed on Monday, November 15, appointments for pediatric vaccines will not be made available this morning at 9 a.m. as scheduled. New appointments will be added next Monday, November 22 at 9 a.m. instead.

Those who have scheduled appointments for booster vaccines for November 15 and 16 will be contacted by Public Health, and these appointments will be rescheduled for a later date.

If you are looking for other COVID-19 testing or vaccination options, visit our website at www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus. Please check with your chosen location in advance to ensure that they are operating.

For more emergency information, sign up for the emergency information listservCodeRed Alerts or follow Skagit County on Twitter @SkagitGov. The River Level Hotline (360- 416-1404) and www.skagitcounty.net/flood are updated frequently during events with current conditions and can be resources for information as well.


Holiday Operational Changes at the Skagit Fairgrounds Testing & Vaccine Site

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November 3, 2021

The Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccine Site at 501 Taylor Street in Mount Vernon operates on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3pm to 7pm. During the months of November and December, the site will be closed on the following dates:

  • Thursday, November 11th (Veteran’s Day)
  • Thursday, November 25th (Thanksgiving)
  • Friday, November 26th (Thanksgiving)
  • Friday, December 24th (Christmas Eve)
  • Friday, December 31st (New Year’s Day)

In lieu of these dates, the site will be open on the following days from 3pm to 7pm:

  • Wednesday, November 10th
  • Wednesday November 24th
  • Wednesday, December 22nd
  • Wednesday, December 29th

These dates have been added to ensure that vital vaccination and testing services remain available during the busy holiday season. As a reminder, the Fairgrounds Site should not be used as a testing option for those seeking to travel or attend an event that requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

For a full list of vaccination and testing providers, go to: www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #.


Traveling for the Holidays?

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Holidays bring people together. Last year, many of us chose to come together virtually or in small groups. This year, with vaccination rates above 68 percent amongst Skagitonians 12 and older, we expect that folks will be eager to gather—and even travel once again. So, how do you travel safely? And should you travel at all? Below are some helpful tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

First off, the CDC continues to recommend that only those who are fully vaccinated should travel this holiday season. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine.

If you are unvaccinated and MUST travel, the CDC has a list of recommendations below. These recommendations are also for those who have unvaccinated folks in their travel party, including young children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

For Domestic Travel

For people who are fully vaccinated

  • Before Travel:
    • You are not required to get tested or self-quarantine if you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months.
    • You should still follow all other travel recommendations.
  • During Travel:
    • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States.
    • Follow all state and local recommendations and requirements, including mask wearing and social distancing.
    • If travel to an area with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
  • After Travel:
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
    • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.

For people who are unvaccinated

If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, take the following steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • Before Travel:
    • Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. Go here for a list of providers.
  • During Travel:
    • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States The CDC recommends that travelers who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when traveling.
    • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet from anyone who is not traveling with you.
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
  • After Travel:
    • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
      • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
      • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
    • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
    • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.

For International travel

Do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants. If you are not fully vaccinated there will undoubtedly be additional requirements to follow before, during, and after travel.

NOTE: Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing for non-residents, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

What international travelers need to know:

  • Check your destination’s COVID-19 situation and travel requirements before traveling. Countries may have their own entry and exit requirements.
  • When you travel to the United States by air, you are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before you board your flight. The timing of this test depends on your vaccination status and age.
  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) traveling into, within, or out of the United States and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).

For more information about traveling internationally, go to: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel/index.html.

Lastly—and as always: Do NOT travel if you were recently exposed to COVID-19, if someone in your party is sick, you are sick, you test positive for COVID-19, or you are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. To learn when it is safe (or unsafe) to travel, visit the CDC’s travel page here: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/when-to-delay-travel.html.


Statewide COVID-19 Vaccine Verification for Large Events to Begin November 15

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October 15, 2021

Yesterday, Governor Inslee announced that, beginning on November 15, individuals 12 years and older who attend certain large events will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or a negative test result.

This new statewide Vaccination Verification Program will apply to indoor events of 1,000 or more attendees and outdoor events of 10,000 or more attendees. It will not apply to settings without defined entrances, such as shopping malls. Also exempt from the new requirement are museums, religious institutions, and events held on school property.

Event attendees will have several options for showing proof of vaccination, including the following:

  • CDC Vaccination Card given at the time of vaccination
  • Print out or screenshot of one’s vaccination records from MyIRMobile
  • Other immunization records provided by one’s medical provider
  • QR Code that can be downloaded through MyIRMobile

Unvaccinated attendees may instead show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of the event. Please check with the event vendor for specific testing requirements. 

This announcement follows King County’s recent decision to require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to enter certain indoor and outdoor events and establishments beginning October 25.

Vaccination continues to be the safest, easiest—and most convenient—option for Washingtonians. Routine testing cannot ensure one’s safety. Vaccination is the best tool when it comes to preventing serious illness and death.

As a reminder, the Skagit County Fairgrounds is not an option for those seeking testing to attend an event. Testing at this site is limited to those who live, work, or go to school in Skagit, and people must either be currently symptomatic, or have been recently exposed to COVID-19.

“Planning is going to be key for people who are unvaccinated. To ensure that someone can get a test within 72 hours of their event, they’ll need to book a testing appointment in advance or plan to wait in line at a drop-in site.”

– Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director

To find a vaccination provider near you, go to: https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/. For a list of Skagit County testing providers, visit the Public Health website: www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus.


Public Health Expanding Hours of Operation at the Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site Beginning October 4th

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September 28, 2021

The Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site will be expanding its hours of operatioThe Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site will be expanding its hours of operation next week to better serve the community and reduce wait times. Beginning on Monday October 4, the new operating hours will be from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. The site will no longer operate on Wednesdays.

“This change was necessary given current demand for testing here in Skagit County. We’ve heard from the community that more evening testing options are needed so we are pleased to be able to respond to these needs.”

Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director

Vaccination services continue to be offered to all people 12 years and older. People can access a first or second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or a single-dose of Johnson & Johnson, when supplies are available. Third doses of Pfizer and Moderna are also available to certain immunocompromised individuals. Please speak with your healthcare provider about whether an additional dose is appropriate for you.

Beginning September 29th, Pfizer booster doses will be available BY APPOINTMENT ONLY for eligible individuals who received Pfizer for their first and second dose. If you received your second dose of Pfizer in March 2021 or earlier, you may now be eligible for a booster dose if you meet the criteria below. Those eligible for a Pfizer booster dose include:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings.
  • People aged 18–64 years with underlying medical conditions.
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting.

To make an appointment for a Pfizer booster, please use the PrepMod online appointment finder. Under “Search By Name of Location,” enter “Skagit County Public Health.” If there are no appointment dates listed, please check back in a few days. For assistance, call (360) 416-1500.

Snapshot from PrepMod

Please bring your Vaccination Card with you when coming for a second or third dose, or a Pfizer booster dose.
For more info about the CDC guidance: https://bit.ly/3i73NKL.

As a reminder, antigen testing is now limited to individuals who live, work, or go to school in Skagit County. Those coming for testing must be 5 years or older and must (a) be currently symptomatic or (b) have had recent exposure to COVID-19.

Those seeking testing or vaccination, and who meet the above criteria, are asked to come to the South Gate Entrance at 501 Taylor Street in Mount Vernon. Services are free; no appointment is required for testing, or vaccination 1st, 2nd, and 3rd doses. Appointments will be required for Pfizer booster doses beginning September 29th. 

Remember: The Skagit County Fairgrounds is not the only testing or vaccine location here in Skagit County, and folks should anticipate long wait times when coming to the site. Site capacity is limited, and vehicles will be turned away if/when the site reaches its daily capacity limits. A full list of testing and vaccine providers in Skagit County can be found on our website: www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus.

Lastly, please do not arrive more than 30 minutes before the site opens to keep traffic off Cleveland Avenue. For more information about the Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site, please go to our website at www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus or call (360) 416-1500.