Free COVID-19 At-home Test Kits Now Available Online

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January 21, 2022

Today, the Washington State Department of Health launched an online ordering portal for free COVID-19 test kits in partnership with the Say Yes COVID Test Program. Beginning today, Washington state residents will be able to visit www.sayyescovidhometest.org to order rapid-antigen COVID tests online and will receive those tests delivered at no cost. People can order up to 5 free tests per household.

Note: Supplies are limited at this time and demand is quite high. If you have trouble ordering, please contact the state hotline at 1-800-525-0127 (press #).

A federal online ordering portal also launched earlier this week. Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests by going to www.covidtests.gov. The tests are completely free, and orders will usually ship within 7-12 days through USPS.

Antigen test kits are available for purchase, as well, through participating pharmacies like Walgreens and Rite Aid. Check with your local pharmacy frequently, and in person, for availability.

If choosing to purchase kits through a pharmacy, please know that your health insurance company may reimburse you for up to 8 at-⁠home tests per month for each person on the plan. For more information, call your provider or visit https://www.cms.gov/how-to-get-your-at-home-OTC-COVID-19-test-for-free.

Those seeking a PCR test or other testing options can go to https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/TestingforCOVID19/TestingLocations#region4 for a full list of locations in our region.

For information about the Skagit Fairgrounds testing site, please go to www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus or call Public Health at (360) 416-1500.

Testing supplies continue to be limited due to extremely high demand. As our federal, state, and local governments continue to work to increase testing resources, we encourage Skagitonians to utilize the options listed above to gain access to testing. 

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Kits de prueba gratuitos de COVID-19 en el hogar ahora disponibles en línea

Hoy, el Departamento de Salud del Estado de Washington lanzó un portal de pedidos en línea para kits de prueba covid-19 gratuitos en asociación con el programa de pruebas Say Yes COVID. A partir de hoy, los residentes del estado de Washington podrán visitar https://sayyescovidhometest.org/casa.html para solicitar pruebas rápidas de ANTÍGENO COVID online y recibirán esas pruebas entregadas sin costo alguno. Las personas pueden pedir hasta 5 pruebas gratuitas  por  hogar.

Nota: Los suministros son limitados en este momento y la demanda es bastante alta. Si tiene problemas para realizar pedidos, comuníquese con la línea directa del estado al 1-800-525-0127.

Un portal federal de pedidos en línea también se lanzó a principios de esta semana. Cada hogar en los Estados Unidos ahora es elegible para ordenar 4 pruebas gratuitas deCOVID-19 en el hogar yendo a https://www.covidtests.gov/es/. Las pruebas son completamente gratuitas, y los usuarios generalmente se enviarán en 7-12 días a través de USPS.

Tambiénhay disponibles kits de prueba de ntigen para su compra,  a través de farmacias participantes como Walgreens y Rite Aid. Consulte con s u farmacia local para conocer la disponibilidad.

Si elige comprar kits a través de una farmacia, tenga en cuenta quenuestra compañía de seguros de salud puede reembolsarle hasta 8 pruebas en el hogar por mes para cada persona en el plan. Para obtener más información, llame a su proveedor.

Aquellos que buscan una prueba PCR u otras opciones de prueba pueden ir a https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirusTESTsites.htm para obtener una lista completa de ubicaciones.

Para obtener información sobre el sitio de pruebas de Skagit Fairgrounds, visite www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus o llame a Salud Pública al (360) 416-1500.

Los suministros de prueba continúan siendo limitados debido a la demanda extremadamente alta. A medida que nuestros gobiernos federal, estatal y local continúan trabajando para aumentar los recursos de prueba, alentamos a los habitantes de Skagiton a utilizar las opciones enumeradas anteriormente para obtener acceso a las pruebas.


Extended Testing Hours at the Fairgrounds Beginning Today

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January 18, 2022

Skagit County Public Health is pleased to announce that beginning today—Tuesday, January 18—hours of operation for COVID-19 testing at the Skagit County Fairgrounds will be extended! The site will now be open to testing every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Please note that testing will also be available this week on Wednesday from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm to make up for the long weekend.

Public Health put the call out for volunteers on Friday afternoon and our residents answered! Over the weekend, more than 50 individuals reached out to our Volunteer Coordinator about assisting at the site.

“The response from the community was incredible,” said Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health. “With your help, we have been able to extend our hours at the site, potentially doubling the number of people we can test each day.”

Rapid antigen testing is provided for free and is available to anyone 5 years and older who lives, works, or goes to school in Skagit County. Individuals must be symptomatic or have had recent exposure to COVID-19 to qualify for service at the site.

For testing, please come to the South Gate entrance at 501 Taylor Street in Mount Vernon. Note that gates open at 11:30 am, with services starting at noon. Even with the new extended hours, please expect long wait times. Please do not block public or private driveways and be mindful of pedestrians.

For a full list of other testing providers in the region, go to https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/TestingforCOVID19/TestingLocations.

Vaccinations at the Fairgrounds will continue to be offered weekly from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. Both pediatric vaccines and boosters are available by appointment only. To make an appointment, go to www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine. Please come to the North Gate entrance for vaccinations at 1409 Virginia Street in Mount Vernon.

Boosters are also available at the downtown Public Health office at 700 S 2nd Street (3rd floor) in Mount Vernon—by appointment only. For appointments, go to www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine.

For more information about Public Health’s testing and vaccination services, go to www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus or call (360) 416-1500.

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Horario de pruebas extendido en el recinto ferial a partir de hoy

¡Salud Pública del Condado de Skagit se complace en anunciar que a partir de hoy, martes 18 de enero, se extenderán las horas de operación para las pruebas de COVID-19 en el recinto ferial del Condado de Skagit! El  sitio  ahora  estará abierto a pruebas todos los  lunes, martes, jueves y viernes de 12:00 pm a 7:00 pm.

Tenga en cuenta que las pruebas también estarán disponibles esta semana el miércoles de 12:00 pm a 7:00 pm para compensar el fin de semana largo.

¡Salud Pública hizo un llamado a los voluntarios el viernes por la tarde y nuestros residentes respondieron! Durante el fin de semana, más de 50 personas se comunicaron con nuestro Coordinador de Voluntarios para ayudar  en el sitio.

“La respuesta de la comunidad fue increíble”, dijo Jennifer Johnson, de Salud Pública del Condado de Skagit. “Con su ayuda, hemos podido extender nuestras horas en el sitio, lo que podría duplicar el número de personas que podemos probar cada día”.

Las pruebas rápidas de antígenos se proporcionan de forma gratuita y están disponibles para cualquier persona de 5 años o más que viva, trabaje o vaya a la escuela en el condado de Skagit. Las personas deben ser sintomáticas o haber tenido una exposición reciente a COVID-19 para calificar para el servicio en el sitio.

Para las pruebas, por favor venga a la entrada de South Gate en 501 Taylor Street en Mount Vernon. Note que las puertas se abren a las 11:30 am,con servicios a partir del mediodía. Incluso con las nuevas horas extendidas, espere largos tiempos de espera. Por favor, no bloquee los caminos de entrada públicos o privados y tenga en cuenta a los peatones.

Para obtener una lista completa de otros proveedores de pruebas en la región, vaya a https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/TestingforCOVID19/TestingLocations.

Las vacunas en el recinto ferial continuarán ofreciéndose semanalmente de 3:00 p.m. a 6:00 p.m. Tanto las vacunas pediátricas como los refuerzos están disponibles solo con cita previa. Para concertar una cita, vaya a www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine. Por favor, venga a la entrada de North Gate para vacunarse en 1409 Virginia Street en Mount Vernon.

Los refuerzos también están disponibles en la oficina de Salud Pública del centro de la ciudad en 700 S2 nd  Street (3rd  floor) en Mount Vernon, solo con cita previa. Para citas, vaya a  www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine.

Para obtener más información sobre los servicios de pruebas y vacunación de Salud Pública, visite www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus  o llame al (360) 416-1500.


Calling All Volunteers! Volunteers Needed at the Fairgrounds Testing Site

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January 14, 2022

The demand for COVID-19 testing has increased dramatically since the end of December 2021. The new Omicron variant has proven to be highly transmissible, causing a rapid spike in new cases over the past two to three weeks. Aside from vaccination, boosters, and masking, testing is one of the best tools that we have to slow the spread of the virus in our community.

Skagit County Public Health has been working diligently to provide no-cost, low-barrier testing services to Skagitonians since April 2020. The current operation at the Skagit County Fairgrounds allows for an average of 300 tests per evening, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

While demand for testing services have ebbed and flowed over the course of the pandemic, present demand is overwhelming our Public Health and hospital systems. To address this strain, Public Health is seeking to expand testing hours at the Fairgrounds as soon as possible.

As many know, staffing shortages due to COVID-19 are impacting workplaces across the country. Unfortunately, the Skagit County Fairgrounds has also been affected by these struggles.

“A minimum of 15 staff and volunteers are required to run the Fairgrounds each day,” said Site Manager, Julie de Losada. “To expand our hours, we would need to quickly expand our workforce as well. Without new volunteers, it just isn’t possible.”

Public Health is calling on the community to help support the testing site. If you are 16 years of age or older and can commit to at least one shift per week through the end of February, the site could desperately use your help.

If/when staffing allows, Public Health is hoping to add an early afternoon shift to the current operating schedule on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. A volunteer would need to be available either between 11:30am to 3:00pm or 2:30pm to 7:00pm on these days.

All positions are open: testers, administrative help, traffic, and greeters. No experience is required; training will be provided on site. To be eligible, a background check is required, and only those who are fully vaccinated can volunteer at the site.

Please know that Public Health has had considerable success in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 at the testing site. All volunteers and staff are required to wear a surgical face mask (at minimum) at all times.

If you are interested, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at ralpert@co.skagit.wa.us or call Public Health at (360) 416-1500.

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¡Llamando a todos los voluntarios! Se necesitan voluntarios en el sitio de pruebas del recinto ferial  

La demanda de pruebas de COVID-19 ha aumentado drásticamente desde finales de diciembre de 2021. La nueva variante de Omicron ha demostrado ser altamente transmisible, causando un rápido aumento en los nuevos casos en las últimas dos o tres semanas. Aparte de la vacunación, los refuerzos y el enmascaramiento, las pruebas son una de las mejores herramientas que tenemos para frenar la propagación del virus en nuestra comunidad. 

Skagit County Public Health ha estado trabajando diligentemente para proporcionar servicios de pruebas sin costo y de baja barrera a los skagitonianos desde abril de 2020. La operación actual en el recinto ferial del condado de Skagit permite un promedio de 300 pruebas por noche, todos los lunes, martes, jueves y viernes.  

Si bien la demanda de servicios de pruebas ha disminuido y fluido en el transcurso de la pandemia, la demanda actual está abrumando nuestros sistemas de salud pública y hospitalarios. Para hacer frente a esta tensión, Salud Pública está tratando de ampliar el horario de pruebas en el recinto ferial lo antes posible. 

Como muchos saben, la escasez de personal debido a COVID-19 está afectando a los lugares de trabajo en todo el país. Desafortunadamente, el recinto ferial del condado de Skagit también se ha visto afectado por estas luchas. 

“Se requiere un mínimo de 15 empleados y voluntarios para administrar el recinto ferial cada día”, dijo la gerente del sitio, Julie de Losada. “Para ampliar nuestros horarios, también tendríamos que ampliar rápidamente nuestra fuerza laboral. Sin nuevos voluntarios, simplemente no es posible. ” 

Salud Pública está pidiendo a la comunidad que ayude a apoyar el sitio de pruebas. Si tiene 16 años de edad o más y puede comprometerse a al menos un turno por semana hasta finales de febrero, el sitio podría usar desesperadamente su ayuda. 

Si / cuando el personal lo permite, Salud Pública espera agregar un turno temprano en la tarde al horario operativo actual de los lunes, martes, jueves y viernes. Un voluntario tendría que estar disponible entre las 11:30 a.m. y las 3:00 p.m. o de 2:30 p.m. a 7:00 p.m. en estos días.  

Todos los puestos están abiertos: probadores, ayuda administrativa, tráfico y saludadores. No se requiere experiencia; la capacitación se proporcionará en el sitio. Para ser elegible, se requiere una verificación de antecedentes, y solo aquellos que están completamente vacunados pueden ser voluntarios en el sitio. 

Tenga en cuenta que Salud Pública ha tenido un éxito considerable en la mitigación de la propagación de COVID-19 en el sitio de prueba. Todos los voluntarios y el personal deben usar una máscara facial quirúrgica (como mínimo) en todo momento.  

Si está interesado, comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador Voluntario en  ralpert@co.skagit.wa.us o llame a Salud Pública al (360) 416-1500. 


Joint Statement on Local Healthcare Capacity & COVID-19 Transmission Rates

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January 13, 2022

Skagit County hospitals have seen a dramatic increase in the number of individuals admitted for inpatient care due to COVID-19 over the past week. This recent spike has only further exacerbated our already overburdened healthcare system both locally and across the state.

Today, our local hospitals together with County Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand are coming together to ask Skagitonians to help in easing the current strain on our healthcare system. Each person can take action to help alleviate this strain on our providers. Please, take necessary precautions to decrease COVID-19 transmission rates and be conscientious of seeking emergency medical services.

Vaccination continues to be the best tool in preventing serious illness due to COVID-19. While we know that breakthrough infections are expected with the Omicron variant, current data has shown that the vast majority of breakthrough infections have resulted in mild to moderate symptoms that do not require medical attention.

Transmission rates are also of grave concern. The Omicron variant is extremely transmissible and has resulted in more than a doubling of COVID-19 cases this week compared to last. Skagitonians can help to control the spread by taking precautions and not gathering when sick or if recently exposed. For this reason, it is our recommendation at this time that people postpone all large indoor gatherings, regardless of the vaccination status of those gathering.

Masking is also still an extremely important tool that people must use when congregating in indoor public settings and certain outdoor public settings. Ensure the quality and fit of your mask by going to the CDC’s masking guidance webpage here.

We understand that testing options are limited at this time, both in Skagit County and throughout Washington. If you are symptomatic or have been recently exposed to COVID-19 and cannot get access to a test, please follow the CDC’s updated isolation and quarantine guidance. Essentially:

IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS but do not need medical care and can’t get a test, assume you have COVID-19.  You should isolate for at least 5 days to keep from spreading the virus to others. Monitor your symptoms.

IF YOU WERE EXPOSED to someone with COVID-19 and need to quarantine and are unable to get a test 5 days after your last close contact, you can leave your home after day 5 if you have not had symptoms; wear a mask for 10 days after last contact.

Our hospitals and urgent care facilities have the capacity to care for those who are acutely ill. These are not the locations to go for COVID-19 testing if you are asymptomatic or are experiencing mild COVID-like symptoms. Please look to community testing sites and local pharmacies for testing options.

Severe COVID-19-related symptoms that would require emergency medical attention include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, depending on skin tone.

“From looking at previous waves, we know that this current surge will level out in time,” said Dr. Leibrand. “Now is not the time to get together or socialize. That time will come, but it isn’t right now. It is essential that we work together to see ourselves out of this current wave.”

To find a vaccine provider near you, please use the Vaccine Locator or call 1-800-525-0127 (press #). For a list of local testing providers, please go to the Testing Locations page here.


Fairgrounds Testing & Vaccination Site to Close Until January 18

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January 13, 2022

Due to staffing shortages, the Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site will be closed until Tuesday, January 18.

During a time when we are seeing many workplaces across Washington State being affected by staffing shortages due to COVID-19 infections and exposures, Skagit County Public Health and the County at large are unfortunately seeing similar impacts.

“Operating the site requires a minimum of fifteen staff and volunteers each evening, including traffic personnel, administrative staff, and registered nurses,” said Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director. “Without the necessary staffing, it just isn’t feasible to operate.”

Testing demands are still far exceeding availability at this time. If you cannot get access to testing, please refer to the CDC’s Isolation and Quarantine Guidance found here: https://bit.ly/3JQLIwF.

IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS but do not need medical care and can’t get a test, assume that you have COVID-19 and isolate for at least 5 days to keep from spreading the virus to others. End isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving.

IF YOU WERE EXPOSED to someone with COVID-19 and need to quarantine (meaning you are not up to date on vaccinations) and are unable to get a test 5 days after your last close contact, you can leave your home after day 5 if you have not had symptoms; wear a mask for 10 days after last contact.

For a full list of testing options in Skagit County and the surrounding area, please visit the state’s Testing Locations webpage here. You may also be able to find for-purchase testing kits at your local pharmacy.

If testing at home and you receive a positive test result, please call the state’s COVID-19 Hotline as soon as possible at 1–800–525–0127 or the Skagit County Public Health office at (360) 416-1500.


Want COVID data? The Data Dashboard has you covered!

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As of January 3rd, 2022, Skagit County Public Health is no longer updating ongoing COVID-19 case, hospitalization, death, and demographic data on its website. Instead, Skagitonians are asked to refer to the statewide COVID-19 Data Dashboard for all COVID-19 related data.

We understand that it can be uncomfortable navigating a new website, especially when you’ve gotten used to using a different one. As we transition away from updating COVID-19 data on the Public Health website, please know that we’re here to help! Below you will find a video with directions on how to navigate the Dashboard. This video can also be found on our website at www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus.

If you need further assistance using the Dashboard, please call the state COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127. You can also contact Skagit County Public Health directly at danicas@co.skagit.wa.us.

Data Dashboard Navigation Video – Skagit County Public Health

Video Transcript:

Hello, my name is Danica Sessions and I’m with Skagit County Public Health. In this video, I will be providing some directions on how to navigate the Washington state COVID-19 Data Dashboard, seen here on my screen.

This dashboard is updated Monday through Friday by the Washington State Department of Health and includes a variety of COVID-related data sets and helpful reports. This is the best tool to use to stay up-to-date about current state and county-level case, hospitalization, and death rates. It is also a helpful tool to see current our current vaccination status here in Skagit County—and throughout the state.

To get to this dashboard, please go to www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/DataDashboard.

Once here, scroll down slightly to find the dashboard.

The first thing you’ll see is our state’s current status. In order to narrow it down to Skagit County, find the “select county” box along the left of the dashboard and scroll down to Skagit County. Click the box to select.

So once you’ve clicked on Skagit County, you’ll see our current status. This includes total confirmed cases, as well as total hospitalizations and deaths to date. You’ll also notice a few other helpful data points.

To see how we compare to other counties, you can go to the tabular view here. To get back to maps, click on the Map View button.

You’ll note that in the upper-right hand corner, a different date will appear instead of today’s date. This is because all of this data must be verified by the state before it is published. Typically, data will lag by 2 to 3 days. You’ll also notice that the state no longer updates data on the weekends.

To find our vaccination status, click on Vaccinations when you’re still in the “Current Status” tab. Please note that sometimes when you move throughout the dashboard, the county will unselect. To ensure that you’re looking at Skagit County data, make sure that the box is checked.

Here you can see total doses administered in our county to date. By clicking here, you can see our percentages of partially and fully vaccinated populations. You can also see who is getting vaccinated by clicking here. Data is broken out by sex, age, and race/ethnicity.

If you’re looking to see historic case counts or you’d like to know how many new cases we’re seeing each day, go to “Cumulative Counts” here. Click Skagit County. You can navigate by hovering on the blue line. To see our current status, go to the far right. You’ll see our total cases to date, as well as how many new cases were reported since yesterday.

As you can see, we’re seeing some of our largest daily increases right now compared to any other time during the pandemic.

You can see similar data for hospitalizations and deaths by toggling between these tabs here.

If you’re looking for case, hospitalization, and death rates (essentially trends over time), click on “Epidemiologic Curves,” then click “rates.” You can see 7 day or 14 day averages. The waves of the pandemic are very obvious here. This is also a good place to go to see whether we will be trending upward or downward. Please note that the grey dots are an estimation based on prilimary data, and numbers can change.

Find hospitalization and death rates by toggling between the two buttons here.

There are a few more helpful functions including demographics, COVID-like illness hospitalizations, and healthcare system readiness (which shows statewide ICU occupancy). Play around with these different functions to gather more information.

Lastly, I wanted to highlight some really awesome reports that are available on the dashboard webpage. Scroll down to Reports. Some that I have found very useful are the COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths by Vaccination Status Report, the Sequencing and Variants report, and the Breakthrough Surveillance Report.

Most reports are updated weekly or bi-monthly so it is helpful to check back for the most recent information.

We understand that it can be uncomfortable navigating a new website, especially when you’ve gotten used to using a different one. As we transition away from updating COVID-19 data on the Public Health website, please know that we’re here to help.

If you need further assistance with the Dashboard, please call the state COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127. You can also contact Skagit County Public Health directly at danicas@co.skagit.wa.us.

Thank you for watching.


Skagit County Fairgrounds to Reopen Testing Services on Thursday, January 6

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January 5, 2022

The Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site will reopen on Thursday, January 6 following a shutdown due to extreme weather conditions. Public Health has deemed it safe to reopen the site, assuming this evening’s weather forecast doesn’t result in more snow than anticipated.

The Fairgrounds will reopen tomorrow, Thursday, January 6 from 3pm-7pm for testing services only. Vaccination services will resume on January 10, 2022. The Fairgrounds is located at 501 Taylor Street in Mount Vernon.

Testing continues to be limited to those who live, work, or go to school in Skagit County and who are currently symptomatic or have been recently exposed to COVID-19. Please be expecting longer than usual wait times this week and next due to extremely high demand for testing services.

For a full list of other testing providers in Skagit County, please go to our website at www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus.

The Fairgrounds will recommence full services—both testing and vaccination—beginning on Monday, January 10. As of January 10, the site’s hours of operation will be changing to 3pm-6pm, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Public Health intends to extend testing and vaccination services at the Fairgrounds through February.

Additionally, beginning January 10, vaccinations will no longer be provided by drive-through at the Fairgrounds. Those dropping in for a primary vaccination, or those coming for a booster or pediatric vaccine appointment, will be directed to walk into the A/B Building at the Fairgrounds to receive their dose.

To schedule a booster or pediatric vaccine appointment at the Fairgrounds beginning next week, go to www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine, or call Public Health for assistance at (360) 416-1500.

Public Health will also continue to offer booster vaccines—by appointment—at the downtown Public Health office at 700 S 2nd Street in Mount Vernon. When scheduling an appointment online, please be sure to note which location you are selecting. If coming to the Public Health office for a vaccine appointment, please enter through the 1st floor elevator lobby.


Fairgrounds Site to Remain Closed Due to Weather; Vaccine and Tests Available At Public Health Next Week

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December 30, 2021

The Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site will remain closed until further notice due to severe weather conditions. Once it is determined that it is feasible to reopen the Fairgrounds location, Public Health will announce via usual channels including press release and social media.

In lieu of the Fairgrounds location, Public Health will be making new evening COVID-19 vaccination services available next week at the Public Health office. A limited supply of at-home testing kits will also be provided next week at the downtown location during evening clinic hours—Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3pm to 7pm (while supplies last). Kits will be limited to one kit (two tests) per household.

All vaccines, including primary doses, pediatric, and booster doses will require an appointment at the downtown location—please, no walk-ups. The Public Health office is located at 700 S 2nd Street in Mount Vernon on the 3rd floor.

Some booster appointments are currently available for next week during daytime hours. Links for these appointments can be found on our website at www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine. Booster appointments are available to anyone 16 years and older who are currently time eligible; details about eligibility can also be found on our website.

New primary vaccine, pediatric vaccine, and evening booster dose appointments for the week of January 3rd will be added on Thursday, December 30th at 5pm. To access these appointments, please go to www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine. If you need assistance, call Public Health at (360) 416-1500.   

If testing at home and you receive a positive test result, please call the state’s COVID-19 Hotline as soon as possible at 1–800–525–0127.

Also, please know that since individuals will be administering their own tests at home, Public Health will not be able to verify tests results and will not be able to provide record of a positive or negative test for those who need proof for school or their employer. 

For-purchase at-home testing options are also available at locations such as Walgreens, Rite Aids, Bartell Drugs, CVS, Walmart, Safeway, and Albertsons. Additionally, test kits can be ordered online directly through retailers.

For a full list of testing providers in Skagit County, go to our website at www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus.

For those who are feeling ill and cannot get tested, please isolate at home until you are able to do so. Do not gather or visit with other people if sick or recently exposed to COVID-19. Please get familiar with the CDC’s newly updated Isolation and Quarantine Guidance by going to https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1227-isolation-quarantine-guidance.html. If you have questions or concerns, call the state’s COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-525-0127.


Testing at home? Here’s what you need to know.

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[Updated January 11, 2022]

The new Omicron variant has been detected here in Skagit County, and we’re expecting to see a dramatic rise in cases over the coming weeks. Thankfully though, we don’t need to fret! Other than getting vaccinated, testing is one of our most important tools for slowing the spread.

Below you’ll find some helpful information about the at-home testing process and what to do once you’ve tested. For more information about COVID-19 testing, visit the Washington State Department of Health’s webpage here.

Why should you test for COVID-19?

Testing saves lives! Testing allows people to take precautions, like quarantining, in a timely manner to stop the virus from spreading; infected people without symptoms can still spread the virus. Testing also helps public health officials identify and respond to outbreaks, and to track new variants of the virus. Testing is an important component in helping resume normal activities.

Who should test?

Anyone, regardless of vaccination status, should get tested if they’re showing symptoms of COVID-19. They should also get tested if they have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 symptoms may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting

If you’re not fully vaccinated, you should also get tested if:

  • You’ve taken part in activities that put you at higher risk, such as being in large gatherings or crowded indoor settings.
  • You’re traveling (even domestically). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends unvaccinated people get tested 1–3 days before a trip and 3–5 days after returning from a trip.

The vaccines are very effective, but breakthrough cases can happen. If you’re fully vaccinated, you may still need to get tested in some instances (even if you’re not showing symptoms). Basically, it comes down to this: When in doubt: Test.

When should you test?

Go to a testing site or use an at-home test if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who may be positive for COVID-19. You should test immediately if having symptoms, or 3-5 days after suspected exposure, even if you don’t experience any symptoms.

Where can you get an at-home test?

Public Health has now run out of at-home testing kits. Please consider for-purchase at-home testing options, available at locations such as Walgreens, Rite Aid, Bartell Drugs, CVS, Walmart, Safeway, and Albertsons.

At present, testing demand is far exceeding availability throughout our state. If you cannot get access to testing, please refer to the CDC’s Isolation and Quarantine Guidance found here: https://bit.ly/3JQLIwF.

IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS but do not need medical care and can’t get a test, you might have COVID-19 and you should isolate for at least 5 days to keep from spreading the virus to others. Monitor your symptoms.

IF YOU WERE EXPOSED to someone with COVID-19 and need to quarantine and are unable to get a test 5 days after your last close contact, you can leave your home after day 5 if you have not had symptoms; wear a mask for 10 days after last contact.

What kind of test is available for at-home use?

All available at-home tests are rapid antigen tests. These tests typically provide results in 10-15 minutes and are used to identify those with active COVID-19 infections. A positive result generally means a person currently has COVID-19 and can spread the virus to others.

What should you do if you test positive?

Please call the state COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127 (press #) as soon as you receive a positive test result. The hotline is available Monday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Tuesday to Sunday (and observed holidays) 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An interviewer from the Washington State Department of Health will contact you to discuss what’s next and what support is available. Learn more about what to expect if you test positive.

If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and have symptoms (regardless of vaccination status), you can end home isolation when:

  • It’s been at least 24 hours with no fever without using fever-reducing medication, AND
  • Your symptoms have improved, AND
  • At least 5 days since symptoms first appeared.

If you test positive for COVID-19, but have not had any symptoms, you can end home isolation when:

  • At least 5 days have passed since the date of your first positive COVID-19 test, AND
  • You have had no subsequent illness.

Note: If you need help while you’re isolating at home, you may be able to get support from Care Connect Washington.

What if you tested negative but are experiencing symptoms?

If you test negative but are currently experiencing COVID-like symptoms or have been recently exposed to COVID-19, the safest thing to do is to get a follow-up PCR test. A PCR test is a molecular test that looks for genetic material inside the virus and can determine if a person is “COVID-19 positive.” The turnaround time for results with these tests is usually 24–72 hours. While you wait for your results, please quarantine to avoid any possible spread.

Looking for a PCR test? Visit our website for a full list of testing providers here in Skagit County.


Say Yes! COVID Test Program Offers Free, Rapid, Self-Administered Tests to Skagit County Residents to Reduce COVID-19 Spread

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Updated 12/29/21: Due to overwhelming demand, there are no longer free test kits available through the Say Yes COVID Test program.

December 20, 2021

The Say Yes! COVID Test At-Home Testing Challenge provides households with access to free, rapid COVID-19 test kits that they can self-administer and is now available in Skagit County. Say Yes! COVID Test encourages residents to use the tests to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep the community healthy. Beginning today, Skagit County residents can order testing kits online for free home delivery. This service will be available while supplies last. There is a 4 kit (8 total tests) maximum per household.

“Children, adolescents, and adults who are not yet fully vaccinated or at high risk need more accessible tools to inform their choices. Free, rapid, self-administered testing will give community members one more way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Anyone can just swab the front of their nose and perform this test in the privacy of their home and have results within 10 minutes.” 

Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director

The Say Yes! COVID Test initiative is a cooperative effort from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), community partners, test manufacturer Quidel, and healthcare technology company CareEvolution. State and local health departments help connect the initiative to local community members. Researchers at NIH-supported academic health centers will work with CDC and NIH to use publicly available data to determine if the local testing efforts slowed the spread of COVID-19.

Rapid, self-administered testing has potential to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 that occurs when people are infected, but don’t yet have symptoms. Testing on a routine basis offers the best chance of identifying COVID-19 infection and isolating early. The COVID-19 tests are authorized for use by the FDA, provided free of charge, and the entire testing process can be managed privately at home. Tests require a quick swab inside each nostril, and results can be read in just 10 minutes. A free, private, and easy-to-use mobile application is available to help individuals in every step of test taking. The maker of the tests, Quidel, is the same company that made the first rapid flu tests used by doctors’ offices in the United States. 

Individuals who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine or who have the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as people working or going to school outside the home, are ideal candidates for participation, but anyone over the age of 2 is welcome to participate. The testing challenge lasts for at least a month, or until all tests are used. Test users who choose to use the companion digital assistant to record and share their test results and complete a survey can earn up to $35 in gift cards.

Skagit County residents can visit the website SayYesCovidHomeTest.org to order test kits for doorstep delivery.

If you have questions about the Say Yes! COVID Test project, use the links above, or call Skagit County Public Health at (360) 416-1500.