Getting There: Traveling to your Vaccine Appointment

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Vaccine roll-out has been slow over the past two months due to limited supply. Now that we will begin to see more supply arrive in Skagit County, more appointments will be available to those who are eligible. At present, only those who qualify under Phases 1a and 1b-Tier 1 are eligible; however, in the coming days, Public Health expects the State to move to the next phase.

Skagit County Public Health and our partner providers in the County have been working with local transportation providers to work through issues around accessibility. As eligibility widens and more people are able to make an appointment, providers must be able to respond to the needs of our diverse population.

Fairgrounds Clinic Layout

The Vaccine Clinic at the Skagit County Fairgrounds uses a walk-in clinic for first doses. This means that individuals will park their vehicle and enter the clinic on foot. For those with mobility issues, disabled parking is available next to the clinic entrance.

Those who arrive for a second dose at the Fairgrounds will be ushered through our drive-through clinic. Here, people will be able to receive their vaccine without leaving their vehicle. To date, this is the only drive-through vaccine clinic available in Skagit County.

For both first-dose and second-dose appointments, visitors will be required to wait 15 minutes post-vaccination for observation. It is important to keep this in mind when planning for transportation. Appointments can vary in length; it can take between 30-60 minutes from start to finish.

Foot Traffic versus Walk-ups

While there are no walk-ups permitted at the Fairgrounds Vaccine Clinic (meaning only those with an appointment will be permitted), the site does allow for individuals who arrive on foot. Because of this, people can absolutely use public transportation to get to and from the Fairgrounds Clinic. This applies to those arriving for both first-dose and second-dose appointments.

For information about how to schedule an appointment at the Skagit Fairgrounds Vaccine Clinic, visit: www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine.

Transportation Assistance Options

For those who need transportation assistance to the Fairgrounds Clinic (or other vaccine provider locations in Skagit County), you have some options:

1. Fixed Route Services through Skagit Transit

Those using the Fixed Route service may access any route—at no cost—by showing proof of a vaccine appointment. Since there are numerous vaccination sites in Skagit County, the driver will ask which location the person is trying to get to.

If traveling to the Fairgrounds Clinic, take Route 202 from Skagit Station and exit at South 2nd Street and Hazel Road. A short walk will get you to the site entrance at 1410 Virginia Street in Mount Vernon. Here, people will check in with staff at the front entrance and will be directed to Registration.

Any person who is unfamiliar with the Fixed Route service and/or bus stop locations should contact Skagit Transit’s Dispatch Center at (360) 757-4433 for assistance on where to catch the bus and/or which routes to take to their destinations. You can also use Skagit Transit’s online trip planner here: https://www.skagittransit.org/trip-planner/.

2. Paratransit Services through Skagit Transit

Those who cannot use the Fixed Route service can use paratransit services. If you respond “NO” to any of the following questions, you may qualify for the Paratransit service.

  • Are you able to get on or off a bus?
  • Are you able to get to or from the nearest bus stop?
  • Are you able to wait (standing) at a bus stop for 5 to 10 minutes?
  • Are you able to ride or to understand instructions on how to ride the bus?

To access this service, riders must call the Dispatch Center at (360) 757-4433 and speak to a Scheduler, who will work with them to find the best possible pickup location and arrange the pickup times. Since Paratransit is a reservation-based service, a minimum of 24-hour advanced notice is required. Riders must be prepared to show the driver proof of a vaccine appointment in lieu of bus fare.

If using the Paratransit service, please keep in mind that the Paratransit driver will most likely not be able to wait the full length of your vaccine appointment. As noted above, it can take 30-60 minutes for an appointment depending on wait-times. When scheduling your ride, be sure to let the scheduler know that you are going to a vaccine appointment and that there will be a wait.

Those arriving by paratransit (or any other service like a cab or Uber) will be dropped off at Registration and will be processed similar to someone who has arrived on foot. Please plan to schedule a pick up at the site following the 15-minute post-vaccine observation period. For those with mobility issues, staff will assist getting individuals to and from the Site entrance.

For more information about Paratransit Services, visit https://www.skagittransit.org/additional-services/dial-a-ride/.

3. Medicaid Transportation

Those who are eligible for Medicaid and have a Medicaid Provider One Identification Card (medical coupon) may be eligible for transportation assistance to a Skagit County vaccine provider location. People must call two days in advance to schedule a trip; call (360) 738-4554 to reserve a ride.

When reserving a Medicaid transport, be sure to let the scheduler know that you are going to a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, and that it may take 30-60 minutes. Your driver may be able to wait on site, or a pick-up will be scheduled. In this case, please let the Vaccine Clinic staff know about your arrangement, and staff can work to accommodate your specific needs. 

Carpooling to the Fairgrounds Site

We realize that it might make sense to carpool with a friend or co-worker if you both have an appointment on the same day. However, for safety reasons, it is still recommended that only those within the same household ride together in a vehicle.

If you do plan to come to the site with someone else, please try to limit to two people per vehicle. This allows for staff to process vehicles more efficiently than if there are multiple people getting a vaccine in a vehicle. Remember: Only those with an appointment will be permitted into the clinic unless assistance is required.

If you have any questions about the information above, contact the Vaccine Hotline at (360) 416-1500 or visit our webpage at www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine.


Updated Quarantine Requirements for Vaccinated Persons

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On February 10th, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced some recent changes to quarantine requirements for those who are fully vaccinated. This update comes at a perfect time as more people are getting vaccinated and as many are beginning to wonder what life will look like post-vaccine.

If you have been following the news, or if you have been recently vaccinated, you have most likely heard the recommendations: Vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, and avoiding crowds.

But why must those who have received both doses of vaccine continue to practice these safety precautions? Shouldn’t we be able to go back to normal once vaccines are more readily available?

Well…the science just isn’t there quite yet to tell us otherwise!

What we know—and don’t know just yet

We know that the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, meaning that those who have received a full vaccine series have protection against developing symptoms and are especially protected against severe illness related to COVID-19. The evidence also shows that symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission has a greater role in transmission that purely asymptomatic transmission.

While mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (like Pfizer and Moderna) have demonstrated high efficacy at preventing severe and symptomatic COVID-19, there is limited information on how effective the vaccines are at reducing transmission and how long protection lasts. The efficacy of the vaccines against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is also not yet known.

As we wait to learn more about how much vaccines are able to reduce transition, it is best to be cautious. Counties across Washington State have shown reductions in COVID-19 cases in the past several weeks, and it is best to keep doing what we know works best against the virus.

If you are like me though, you may be looking for a glimmer of hope for the coming months. The updated CDC quarantine guidelines is a promising example of the benefits that vaccinated individuals will begin to see.

Updated Guidance for Vaccinated Persons

The CDC states that vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria. Persons who do not meet all three of the below criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19:

1. Are fully vaccinated (i.e. it has been longer than two weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series, or it has been longer than two weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine).

2. Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.

3. Are within three months following receipt of the last dose in the series (meaning that an individual is no more than three months out from their last vaccine dose).

Experts are currently gathering data about the duration of immunity to COVID-19 post-vaccination. At present, we have good data confidence to say that immunity lasts for 90 days (or three months). This may change as more data is gathered and analyzed.

Vaccinated healthcare personnel, patients, and residents in healthcare settings

If you are a healthcare worker, patient, or resident of a healthcare setting, these new updates will not apply to you. This exception is due to the unknown vaccine effectiveness in this population, the higher risk of severe disease and death, and challenges with social distancing in healthcare settings. These individuals must continue to follow current quarantine guidance.

Exposed and feeling sick. Now what?

Fully vaccinated persons who do not quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should be clinically evaluated for COVID-19. In addition, vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including all other SARS-CoV-2 testing recommendations and requirements, and state, territorial, tribal, and local travel recommendations or requirements. For local information, visit: https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirus.htm.

More to come

The CDC quarantine recommendations for vaccinated persons, including the criteria above, will be updated when more data becomes available and additional COVID-19 vaccines are authorized.

To find out if you are currently eligible for vaccine in Washington State, visit www.findyourphasewa.org. If eligible, people can register for an appointment at one of the many vaccine provider locations: https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Immunization/VaccineLocations. Please know that vaccine supply is still quite limited at this time, and it will take several months for all currently eligible individuals to receive vaccine.

For information about Skagit County Public Health’s vaccination clinic at the Skagit County Fairgrounds, visit www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine or call the Vaccine Hotline at (360) 416-1500.


New Mask Guidance from the CDC

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new research that found wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask offers more protection against COVID-19. Findings also showed that tying knots on the ear loops of surgical masks can improve fit and create better protection. This information has prompted new mask guidance at a time when many are experiencing heightened concern over fast-spreading variants of the virus.

Wearing a mask correctly—and consistently—is one of the most effective tools we have against preventing the spread of COVID-19. It is important to choose a mask that fits well and also provides the necessary protection against viruses and aerosols.  

According to the CDC, these are the two most important things to consider when it comes to masks:

1) Make sure your mask fits snugly against your face. Gaps can let air with respiratory droplets leak in and out around the edges of the mask; and

2) Pick a mask with layers to keep your respiratory droplets in and others’ out. A mask with layers will stop more respiratory droplets getting inside your mask or escaping from your mask if you are sick.

Here is a list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts”:

DO

Choose a mask with a Nose Wire:

  • A nose wire is a metal strip along the top of the mask. Nose wires prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask.

Use a Mask Fitter or Brace:

  • Use a mask fitter or brace over a disposable mask or a cloth mask to prevent air from leaking around the edges of the mask.

Check that it Fits Snugly over your nose, mouth, and chin:

  • Check for gaps by cupping your hands around the outside edges of the mask.
  • Make sure no air is flowing from the area near your eyes or from the sides of the mask.
  • If the mask has a good fit, you will feel warm air come through the front of the mask and may be able to see the mask material move in and out with each breath.

Add Layers of material. Here are three different ways to achieve this:

  • Use a cloth mask that has multiple layers of fabric.
  • Wear one disposable mask underneath a cloth mask.
  • Use a two-layer mask that has a pocket for a filter.

Knot and Tuck ear loops of a 3-ply mask:

  • Knot the ear loops of a 3-ply face mask where they join the edge of the mask
  • Fold and tuck the unneeded material under the edges
  • For video instructions, see: https://youtu.be/UANi8Cc71A0external icon.
  • Don’t like this style? You can also try using a mask extender or hair clip to hold the ear loops tightly at the back of your head.

DON’T

Combine two disposable masks: Disposable masks are not designed to fit tightly and wearing more than one will not improve fit.

Combine a KN95 mask with any other mask: Only use one KN95 mask at a time.

For more ways to improve the fit and filtration of your mask, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/mask-fit-and-filtration.html.


Heartful Care

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Rosemary Alpert, Contributing Author 

“Beneath the skin, beyond the differing features and into the true heart of being, fundamentally,  
we are more alike, my friend, than we are unalike.” 

-Dr. Maya Angelou 

As communities across the globe face ongoing challenges of the pandemic and need for vaccinations, we know each of us is affected. Dr. Angelou’s quote, reflects, no matter what our differences, underneath, we all have hearts. Hearts that are vital and keep us moving forward during these unprecedented times. 

Both our physical and emotional hearts need care—especially now, as we are almost a year into this time of drastic change and adjustments. It is important to maintain good heart care, as best we can. Making sure to reach out to our family, friends or professionals, if we experience any physical or emotional concerns or challenges; remembering we are not alone.  

A few months before the pandemic, I participated in a spiritual activism class. One of the exercises was a meditation on our hearts. We were asked to sit quietly and place our hands on our hearts. Breathe in and out at our own pace, and focus in on giving thanks to our hearts. Until that moment, I hadn’t thought of thanking my heart for keeping me alive, blood pumping and all the emotions it holds. It was a moving experience and a good place to start for heartful care and appreciation.

Here are some heartful care suggestions: 

  • Hold our hearts and say, “Thank you!” 
  • Be gentle with ourselves. 
  • Remember to take a few focused intentional breaths. 
  • Get outside as much as we can. 
  • Connect with the earth. 
  • Move our bodies: dance, yoga, hiking, biking, whatever makes us feel good. 
  • Notice the beauty. 
  • Reach out, if feeling isolated. 
  • Check in on family, friends or neighbors. 
  • Continue with regular health check-ups. 
  • Eat some dark chocolate (professionals say it’s good for the heart!). 
  • Keep wearing our masks, good for everyone’s health! 
  • Look into someone’s eyes. 
  • Smile from our hearts. 
  • Drink plenty of water, stay hydrated. 
  • Keep it simple! 

Let’s take care of our health in all ways, so we can show up wholeheartedly for our loved ones, friends and community.  

“Heartful of Seeds,” ©Rosemary DeLucco Alpert 2021 

COVID-19 Testing Site at the Skagit County Fairgrounds to close permanently after Saturday, March 13

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February 10, 2021

Today, Skagit County Public Health announced that the final day of testing at the Fairgrounds drive-through testing site will be Saturday, March 13, 2021. Further, on February 23rd, testing will be operating on reduced hours from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Skagit County Public Health will continue to utilize the Fairgrounds location for COVID-19 vaccinations only. Other testing providers are available in Skagit County.

Many doctor’s offices are now offering COVID-19 testing to their patients. Contact your healthcare provider first to see if they offer COVID-19 testing. Those seeking other testing options can also find a list of providers here: www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirusTESTsites.htm.

Public Health has tested over 43,000 individuals since the Testing Site first opened at Skagit Valley College in April 2020. In November of 2020, the Testing Site moved to the Skagit County Fairgrounds.

“It is time for Public Health to shift focus and resources to vaccine roll-out,” said Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director. There are many more testing options available to those in Skagit County compared to when we first opened, and this has allowed Public Health to move in this new direction. It is our goal at Public Health to be responsive to the current needs of our community and we are excited to be able to focus on our mass vaccination location at the Fairgrounds.”

When vaccine supply allows, the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Fairgrounds location operates by appointment only. Eligible individuals can make appointments online at https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/ when supply is available. Skagit County is currently vaccinating Phase 1a and Phase 1b, Tier 1 individuals. Visit www.findyourphasewa.org to determine if you’re eligible.

For more information, visit Public Health’s website: www.skagitcounty.net. For COVID-19 vaccine questions, please visit www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine or call the Vaccine Hotline at (360) 416-1500.  

 


Try the New Isolation & Quarantine Calculator

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When it comes to the health and safety of your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, there isn’t a lot of room for guess work. Figuring out exactly what it means to be quarantined or isolated can be confusing, especially when there are so many factors at play.

For this reason, the Washington State Department of Health has created an Isolation and Quarantine Calculator Tool to simplify these steps. You can check out this new tool at: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/CaseInvestigationsandContactTracing/IsolationandQuarantineforCOVID19/Calculator.

What does Isolation and Quarantine mean?

Snapshot of the new online calculator tool. Find it here.

Isolation and quarantine are key strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you test positive for COVID-19, have symptoms, or are identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, Public Health will ask you to isolate or quarantine as appropriate.

Isolation describes when someone who has COVID-19 symptoms, or has tested positive, stays home and away from others (including household members) to avoid spreading their illness. This would mean that a person eat and sleep separately from other household members, as well as use a separate restroom (when able).  

Quarantine describes when someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 stays home and away from others for the recommended period of time in case they were infected and are contagious. Those in quarantine are still able to interact with those in their immediate household. Quarantine becomes isolation if the person later tests positive for COVID-19 or develops symptoms.

The period of time that someone must isolate or quarantine is reliant on the type of contact the individual has had, whether or not the individual tests positive for COVID-19, and whether this person develops symptoms or not.

The online Calculator will help to determine the dates of your isolation or quarantine if you:

  • Tested positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms;
  • Tested positive for COVID-19 but do not have symptoms;
  • Were exposed to COVID-19 (identified as a close contact); or
  • Previously tested positive for COVID-19 and want to know when you could be re-infected.

If you have been issued an isolation or quarantine letter from Skagit County Public Health, please follow the instructions provided. If you are an at-risk individual who is on quarantine or isolation, and you find yourself in need of assistance with getting supplies or food, call 360-416-1500 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.

For more information, visit https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirus.htm#O.


This Sunday, Let’s Play it Safe

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I’m not going to lie. I do not care about football. At all. Games are long and boring. In pre-COVID times, I’d go shopping while my husband watched games. When it came to the Super Bowl, I was 100% in for the snacks and hanging out with friends. But this year, like so many other things COVID-19 has taken away, I won’t be hanging out with friends. It will just be me and my husband. And the snacks.

That doesn’t mean we can’t still be social! If there is one thing the pandemic has shown us, it’s that it’s really not that hard to connect with friends and family, no matter where they are. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime—whatever your preferred method of video chat—are available 24-7. Use them! If you’re looking for a social connection this Sunday while you watch the game, set up a group call with friends and/or family, and react to the plays (and commercials and halftime show) in real time from a safe distance.

Share snack recipes or see who can come up with the most unique game day treat. Compete with each other for who can dress in the best football garb. Play Game Day or commercial BINGO. There are free printable versions online, or make up your own if you’re creative! Take bets on the final score. Loser owes the winner cupcakes or beef jerky or whatever you’re into.

But if you absolutely cannot fathom being physically apart from friends and/or extended family for the big game, please take steps to keep your party from becoming a super spreader event. Remember: COVID-19 spreads really easily, even without symptoms.

So what can you do to hold a safer gathering?

  1. Limit your gathering to one other household. The more households, the greater the risk of virus transmission.
  2. Stay outside. Use a projector to watch the game. Go inside only when absolutely necessary.
  3. Stay six feet or more from people you don’t live with. This also means no high fives except for air high fives.
  4. Wear a mask. Even if you’re outside and at least six feet apart, you still need to wear a mask. Take it off when you’re actively eating and drinking, but put it back on between bites or sips.
  5. Limit your yelling/cheering. The louder you speak, the more aerosols you emit, and the more likely you are to spread the virus if you have it. Bring a noisemaker, clap, stomp your feet, silently swear to yourself—whatever you need to do to keep your volume down and your aerosols to yourself.
  6. Bring your own food/drinks. Share snacks only with members of your own household. Obviously, this means you need to make the most delicious appetizer so everyone else is jealous. And for once, you don’t need to share!
  7. On that note, bring your own plates, cups, utensils, etc.
  8. Keep hand sanitizer handy. If you touch a common surface, wash your hands or use sanitizer.
  9. Moderate your alcohol intake. We all know alcohol lowers our inhibitions. If you have a few too many, you may be less likely to take proper COVID-19 precautions.
  10. Looking for more tips: Check out these from the CDC.

Public Health definitely doesn’t encourage you to hold or attend a gathering this Sunday. But if you do choose to gather, please be as safe as possible!


Glimmers of Light in the Vaccine Observation Room

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Contributing author, Rosemary Alpert.

It has been almost a year since our lives began to be touched by a mysterious virus, one we now know all too well. We watched the evening news: images of people in other countries wearing masks, something so unfamiliar to our “norm” here in the States. 

Then, we were all affected, in one way or another. A challenging time—filled with a plethora of emotions and stories.  

One year later, we are in the midst of mass vaccinations across the country, offering a glimmer of light for our communities. But we’re also encountering new challenges, as the supply of vaccinations is slow and unpredictable. The monumental need for vaccinations can be frustrating: trying to figure out when, where and how to receive the vaccination is not easy.

“Clicker” ©Rosemary DeLucco Alpert 2021 

Despite these challenges and frustrations, our goal continues to be to get as many people vaccinated as possible. With the supply we received last week, Public Health was able to vaccinate more than 1,100 community members at the Skagit County Fairground Vaccination Site. Community members, mostly 65 and older, received their first vaccination dose between Tuesday and Saturday.  

With a heart full of joy, I greeted each community member after they had received their first dose. In the Observation Room, I spoke with each person as they sat for their 15-minute monitoring period.

Clicking off a fuchsia-colored counter is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had; happily greeting and congratulating each person, feeling the smiles hidden beneath our masks, and seeing the welcomed relief and glimmers of sparkling light shining from their eyes. Once again, each person has a story and reasons why they received their vaccination.  

I asked a few community members how they felt and if they’d like to share a thought while sitting in the Observation Space.

Here are some of the responses: 

“Feels like I won the lottery!” 

“It was frustrating at first, trying to get an appointment. Once we got through, everything has been seamless.” 

“Everyone has been so helpful; you’re all so organized.” 

“I feel so relieved.” 

“I’m grateful and concerned for the communities who don’t have access to technology.”

Glimmers of light are found all around our community: in the eyes of each person who is grateful to receive their vaccination, neighbors checking in on one another, a caretaker or support person bringing an elder to receive the vaccine. Creative community collaboration—each of us doing the best we can—making sure we move forward and stay healthy. 

When you come for your first vaccination, here is a reminder:

  • Bring a form of ID
  • Dress appropriately to receive your vaccine (ex: t-shirt or button up)
  • Bring a coat or blanket, since we keep the doors open for ventilation
  • Consider bringing a book, crossword puzzle, knitting–whatever you’d like as you sit for 15 minutes post-vaccination

We have a safe and welcoming space available for our guests, with local artwork on the walls, calming music and great company. I look forward to greeting you on vaccination day and clicking off the counter!

The vaccination process is an enormous collaborative community endeavor. Information is constantly being updated. For the most updated information in both English and Spanish, please visit the Skagit County Public Health website: www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine. Please share this information with your friends, especially those who do not have easy access to a computer.  


Why Do Baby Teeth Matter?

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Saying that new parents are mentally and emotionally overwhelmed is an understatement! Between nighttime feeding, colic, breast or bottle feeding, and sleep training, it is amazing that new moms and dads are capable of handling anything else during the first year!

It is easy to forget all the little details when life is changing so quickly; one of those things that gets forgotten may be your baby’s dental health. Whether your baby pops a few cute teeth right away or rocks a gummy grin for months, it is important to always keep dental—and gum—health in mind!

Those little chompers are doing more than just gnawing on baby teethers and bars of their crib. It may not be obvious why baby teeth are so important, especially since children lose them eventually anyway. But the reality is that these little teeth, and the behaviors that children develop in order to keep them clean, are vitally important to their long-term dental health. Baby teeth can actually impact the health and wellbeing of incoming adult teeth!

Here are some things to consider when thinking about your child’s baby teeth:

Tooth alignment and position

Baby teeth (or “primary teeth”) save space for adult teeth and help to guide the adult teeth into their proper position. So long as the teeth and gums remain healthy (and there are no serious accidents!), these primary teeth stay in place up until the adult teeth underneath are ready to erupt through the gums. 

If a baby tooth is lost early due to tooth decay, the adjacent teeth may drift or tip into that gap. The adult (or “permanent tooth”) then has less room to come in properly.

Speech and facial development

Everything in the mouth plays a part when it comes to forming sounds, including your tongue, cheeks, and teeth. The presence and positioning of baby teeth can impact your baby’s ability to form words correctly.

Tooth structure also provides support for the developing facial muscles and gives shape to your child’s face. A healthy mouth is a happy face! And who doesn’t love a cute little baby face?!

Healthy adult teeth

Permanent teeth develop under the gums, very close to the roots of baby teeth. Cavities can spread very quickly through the thin enamel of baby teeth and can be detrimental to the health of the adult teeth below. If cavities are left untreated, baby teeth can become infected, which can, in turn, cause further damage to the permanent tooth underneath.

Health and nutrition

If your baby is experiencing pain when they chew due to dental infection, this can lead to feeding issues. Nothing is worse than a cranky baby who won’t eat—especially since many times they cannot express why they are upset. Left unchecked, it can even result in nutritional deficiencies. Furthermore, if an infection spreads, it can impact other parts of the body.

Self-esteem and concentration

While your baby or young child may not care how goofy they look, eventually, their appearance will matter. Decayed or missing teeth can impact a child’s confidence, leading to low self-esteem and behavioral issues.

Dental health can also impact your child’s ability to concentrate. If a child is having dental pain, it can get in the way of them paying attention and learning in school. If emergency dental work is needed, this could mean missed school (and work for parents).

So, what should parents do?

It is recommended that parents schedule a dental checkup within 6 months of a child’s first tooth appearing and definitely by age one (regardless of how many teeth the child may have at this point). Why so early? As soon as teeth break through the gums, he or she can develop cavities.

Getting your child used to visiting the dentist from an early age is also a great way to begin developing a healthy relationship between your child and their dentist. It can be intimidating for a child to sit in a dentist chair and have a stranger looking around in their mouth! Parents can do a lot to help to dissipate any fears their young child may have.

Remember to get your child into the dentist at least once a year, if not twice! Routine dental checkups are important in order to prevent cavities and other oral health issues. These appointments also give parents the opportunity to learn more about healthy oral practices that they can encourage at home. 

Looking for resources?

Families with children ages five and younger can call Skagit County’s ABCD program at (360) 416-1500 for help finding dental care for their children. For families who quality, some benefits of the program include:

  • An initial dental exam
  • Two dental exams per year (6 months apart)
  • Three fluoride varnish applications per year
  • Two parent education sessions per child per year
  • Fillings and other dental work (as needed)  

For more information about the ABCD program, visit our webpage at: https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthFamily/dental.htm.


Una Guía para el Programador de Vacunas En Línea del Condado de Skagit

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Como muchos han oído, Salud Pública del Condado de Skagit lanzó recientemente una herramienta en línea para programar la vacuna COVID-19. Esta nueva herramienta en línea aumentará una gran medida en nuestra capacidad para registrar personas a medida que el suministro de vacunas esté disponible y a medida que se agregan más fechas de clínicas. Anticipamos que el portal en línea mejora el proceso de registro para las personas durante las próximas semanas.

Hemos escuchado de algunas personas que llaman a nuestra Línea Directa de Vacunas que la herramienta en línea (llamado “PrepMod”) es un poco intimidante para aquellos que están menos familiarizados con las herramientas de programación en línea. Es nuestro objetivo de disminuir las barreras para programar para una vacuna, y queremos hacer todo lo que esté a nuestro poder para continuar haciendo que las vacunas estén ampliamente disponibles para nuestra comunidad.

A medida que más vacunas estén disponibles, Salud Pública del Condado de Skagit podrá proporcionar más fechas de clínicas a través del programador en línea PrepMod. Nos comunicaremos en nuestro sitio web en www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine y en nuestra página de Facebook cuando se agreguen nuevas fechas de las clínicas.

Entonces, aquí va — una guía para el proceso de registro en línea del Condado de Skagit:

1. Familiarícese con el sistema … ¡antes de registrarse!

Mientras que las personas pueden llamar absolutamente en nuestra Línea de Vacunas para obtener ayuda con el registro para una cita, queremos animar a aquellos que pueden registrarse en línea a través de PrepMod.

Hay dos razones para esto: (1) Nuestra línea directa ha estado experimentado un volumen de llamadas extremadamente alto. Aunque hemos extendido nuestro horario y hemos aumentado el personal, todavía hay la posibilidad de que alguien tenga dificultades para comunicarse con personal; y (2) Registrarse en línea tomará entre 10 y 15 minutos (dependiendo de qué tan experto en tecnología sea). Para cuando alguien se comunique con nuestro centro de llamadas, es posible que ya se hayan realizado todas las citas para vacunas.

Por estas razones, animamos a las personas que puedan estar preocupados por su capacidad para utilizar el programador en línea para encontrar una “Buddy de Programación”. La herramienta en línea permite que las personas se registren en nombre de otra persona mediante un apoderado — ¡Solo pedimos que las personas se aseguren de registrar toda la información correctamente al hacerlo!

Y si necesita aclaraciones sobre cualquiera de las siguientes instrucciones, por favor comuníquese con nuestra Línea Directa de Vacunas antes de que planee registrarse para que el personal pueda guiarlo a través del sistema. La Línea Directa ahora está disponible de lunes a sábado de 8:00 a.m. a 5 p.m. al (360) 416-1500.

2. Verificar elegibilidad

Antes de intentar programar una cita en la Clínica del Recinto Ferial del Condado de Skagit, asegúrese de verificar su elegibilidad para la vacuna. Visite www.findyourphasewa.org para hacerlo. Usted tendrá que registrar información personal como ubicación, edad, tipo de ocupación, situación de vida y algunos antecedentes médicos. Su elegibilidad se basa en la información que proporcione.

3. Visite PrepMod para programar en línea

Si en este momento es elegible para una vacuna, ir a https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/ para comenzar a programar su cita.

Haga clic en “Buscar una Clínica de Vacunación” y marque “Vacunación COVID-19” bajo el tipo de servicio en la página siguiente. Puede buscar una clínica registrando su dirección, buscar una clínica específica o buscar por fecha.

La Clínica de Salud Pública del Condado de Skagit está ubicada en el Recinto Ferial del Condado de Skagit y aparecerá como “Skagit County Public Health- Fairgrounds”.

4. Elegir un lugar y la fecha

Las fechas de las clínicas de vacunas se basan en nuestro suministro actual de vacunas. Si busca bajo de “Skagit County Public Health- Fairgrounds” y no hay un botón azul que dice “Regístrese para una vacuna COVID-19,” esto significa que todos los espacios de la clínica están llenos. También puede revisar bajo de “Citas Disponibles” para ver cuántas citas quedan para esa fecha específica de la clínica (ver un ejemplo a continuación).

Encontrarás ubicaciones enumeradas por fecha (la imagen de abajo muestra el 29/01/2021). Encuentre la fecha que le convenga, verifique que haya – de hecho – la disponibilidad y continúe.

Tenga en cuenta: Es posible que durante el tiempo que tarde alguien en registrar información en el sistema, los espacios disponibles sean tomados por otros usuarios. Sabemos que esto puede ser extremadamente frustrante, pero desafortunadamente así es como funciona la programación en línea. Las clínicas de vacunas se han llenado muy rápidamente debido a la alta demanda en las últimas semanas. Por favor, no se desanime si no reservar una cita la primera vez que lo intente. Habrá muchas más oportunidades para programar una cita durante las próximas semanas.

5. Información personal

Por favor, registre la información de la persona que busca una cita, incluyendo el número de teléfono, domicilio postal y correo electrónico. Es crucial que esta información se registre correctamente. El registro de PrepMod DEBE estar completo para cada persona que se registra. NO ingrese dos nombres en un registro o corre el riesgo de no recibir la vacuna.

6. Información sobre seguros médicos

Esta página puede parecer incontenible, ¡pero no se preocupe! La herramienta de programación le pedirá información básica sobre si está asegurado o no, pero nosotros no recogemos ninguna información detallada del seguro, ya que no cobramos ninguna tarifa de administración en nuestro sitio de vacunación.

7. Historia médica

Si está programando una cita para otra persona, será ventajoso registrarse mientras hablando por teléfono con ellos. Se le hará unas series corto de preguntas médicas, así que por favor esté preparado para responder a estos. Las preguntas incluyen cosas como enfermedades crónicas y reacciones previas a las vacunas. Es muy importante que estas preguntas se respondan con honestidad para evitar problemas cuando la persona llegue al Recinto Ferial para su cita.

8. Dar consentimiento

En esta página, se pedirá a las personas que proporcionen una firma que permite el consentimiento para la vacunación.  Al firmar esta forma, usted está dando permiso para que se administre una vacuna y se documente en un registro de la vacuna en una base de datos para monitorear el control de COVID-19. Además, usted está de acuerdo de que la información proporcionada es correcta y que entiende los riesgos y beneficios de recibir la vacuna.

Aquí, un apoderado puede firmar por otra persona, y puede indicar su relación con el paciente. Se le pedirá para proporcionar una firma moviendo el cursor como una pluma (vea a continuación un ejemplo). Como puede ver, la firma no necesita ser perfecta.


Por favor firme su nombre aquí con un dedo o un ratón de computadora.

9. Revisar, elegir una hora y enviar

Tendrá la oportunidad de revisar su información. Si algo no es correcto, puede corregirlo haciendo clic en el botón “ATRÁS”. Tenga en cuenta: !A medida que avanza en las páginas, su información será guardará! No perderá la información registrada si usa el botón “ATRÁS” en la parte inferior de la página.

Finalmente, se le pedirá que elija una hora para la cita; ya habría elegido la fecha en la que comenzó a registrar su información.

Tenga en cuenta: Aquí es donde puede ocurrir la frustración. Es posible que pueda llegar hasta esta página antes de descubrir que no hay citas disponibles. ¡Como se ha mencionado más arriba, por favor no se desanime! Habrá otras oportunidades para programar una cita. También puede visitar www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Immunization/VaccineLocations para ver si hay otras citas disponibilidad con otro proveedor de vacunas.

Sabrá que ha concertado una cita con éxito cuando reciba una confirmación por correo electrónico de Salud Pública del Condado de Skagit. No podemos mantener listas de espera para las clínicas, incluso si PrepMod le ofrece esta opción. Si programa una cita con el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Skagit, se compromete a cumplir con esa cita. NO programe citas con varias clínicas. Si tiene una cita confirmada con nuestra clínica, debe retirarse de las listas de espera de otras clínicas.

Salud Pública del Condado de Skagit reconoce que esta herramienta de programación en línea no puede satisfacer las necesidades de todos, y entendemos que la gente está esperando ansiosamente la oportunidad de vacunarse. Llevará varias semanas para superar nuestra fase de vacuna actual (Fase 1b-Nivel 1), y pedimos que la gente tenga paciencia mientras esperamos que el Estado proporcione más vacunas. Llegará un momento en el futuro en el que las vacunas estarán mucho más disponibles. Tomará un poco de tiempo y esperamos que sea necesario realizar ajustes a lo largo del camino.

Para obtener más información sobre el lanzamiento de la vacuna del condado de Skagit, visite www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine.