Starting Monday, symptomatic individuals – and any healthcare workers or first responders – will be able to get tested for the presence of Coronavirus. That’s the goal of Skagit County’s new drive-through testing site in the east parking lot of Skagit Valley College, near McIntyre Hall.
Testing will open at 9 a.m. Monday, April 27, for anyone who registers for an appointment online. The drive-through testing site will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
“Expanding testing has always been our goal,” said Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director. “Now that we have enough testing supplies, we can dramatically increase the number of people we test. Our goal is to test up to 200 people each day – for as long as there’s community need for testing.”
Online registration for same-day Coronavirus testing will close at 7 a.m. for morning appointments and 11 a.m. for afternoon appointments. Registration can be done several days in advance, and appointments are available at approximately 2-minute increments. Those with difficulty registering online can call 360-416-1500 for more information.
Testing is open to any individual with mild symptoms (such as low fever or cough), any individual whose doctor has recommended testing, and to any first responders or healthcare workers, regardless of symptoms. People with severe symptoms, such as high fever or shortness of breath, should seek care from their healthcare provider or respiratory clinic. No medical evaluations are available on-site.
People should bring photo ID, their insurance information and their registration number to the testing site, and follow signs and flaggers to proceed through the testing stations. Individuals will self-swab their nose and provide swabs to testing personnel for transport to local laboratories.
Test results are expected within 24 to 72 hours. Residents with negative test results will get a text message or phone call from Skagit County Public Health. Health staff will call residents who receive positive test result to provide more information about self-isolation and quarantine of close contacts.
“This is an amazingly stressful time, affecting more than just our SVC community,” said Skagit Valley College President Tom Keegan. “The College is always willing to partner on behalf of the community, and we’re pleased to respond to Skagit County’s need for a drive-through testing location. It’s important that we work together to take care of our own health, take care of our loved ones, and take care of our community.”
“Widespread testing like this is a critical part of reopening our county,” Johnson said. “As we’re able to go back out in our community, it’s crucial that we can quickly identify potential exposures and get those people into isolation or quarantine. The more people we can test, the safer their interactions may be.”
NW Laboratory in Bellingham and the Washington State Public Health Lab provided testing supplies for the drive-through site. NW Pathology will collect and bill patients’ insurance.
For more information about drive-through testing, including frequently asked questions and images of what to expect at the testing site, please visit http://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirusdriveup.htm.