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. 


Changes to Operating Hours at the COVID-19 Test Site

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October 9, 2020

If you’ve driven past the Skagit County COVID-19 Testing Site recently at Skagit Valley College on a Tuesday or Thursday, you may have noticed something different. That is because, beginning on September 21st, the hours of operation were adjusted. The adjustment was made in order to better accommodate working people.

“It has been difficult to balance resources, staff time and community needs at the testing site,” said Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson. “We’re glad to be in a place where these adjusted hours are possible. It will help fill an important community need.”

The new operating hours are:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday: 11:00 a.m. –
7:00 p.m.

The drive through testing site is located at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, and has been in continuous operation since April 21, 2020. The testing site is open to those who live, work, or study in Skagit County, or out-of-state visitors of Skagit residents. There is no appointment necessary! The testing site is the longest continuously running drive-through testing site operated by a county in Washington State and has the capacity to test up to 600 people per day.

“Working people have a high need for testing,” said County Commissioner Ron Wesen, Chair of the County Board of Commissioners. “Our front line workers and employers want a testing option that will be accessible after the typical workday. We’re grateful that our Public Health team can offer this service.”

The adjustment to the testing site hours will be permanent, as long as the testing site is in operation. For up-to-date information on Skagit County’s COVID-19 response, including additional information on the testing site, visit www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus. For daily wait time information, follow Skagit County on Twitter at @SkagitGov.

If you need additional questions or need further information, call Skagit County Public Health at 360-416-1500.

Note: We have had some recent issues with individuals receiving bills in the mail for their tests. Please know that Skagit County doesn’t pay for any lab bills; Northwest Lab handles billing. While State and Federal officials have required that COVID-19 testing and treatment be free for all “medically necessary” treatment, it is possible that your insurance company will not cover a self-referred test. The individual is responsible for the bill, and for checking their coverage with their insurance company.