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Public Health

"Always working for a safer and healthier Skagit County"
Director: Jennifer Johnson
Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. Public health professionals analyze the effect on health of genetics, personal choice and the environment in order to develop programs that protect the health of your family and community.

Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country.

Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or re-occurring through implementing educational programs, developing policies, administering services, regulating health systems and some health professions, and conducting research, in contrast to clinical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. It is also a field that is concerned with limiting health disparities and a large part of public health is the fight for health care equity, quality, and accessibility.


October 16, 2014:  Ebola Preparedness Update
UDPATE:  Public Health and local hospitals collaborate to address Ebola risks and provide notice to travelers from Ebola regions

SKAGIT COUNTY   Skagit County Public Health & Community Services has been working in collaboration with all local hospitals, as well as Emergency Medical Services (EMS), health care provider offices, and colleges to assure we are prepared for any potential Ebola cases.  This collaboration will assure the containment of disease and adequate care for any and all individuals.  To ensure the health of travelers and the community, we ask travelers returning from affected regions follow the instructions below to assist us in providing proper care while minimizing potential exposures to others. 

Notice to travelers returning from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, or other area with active Ebola cases.
If in the past 21 days you have traveled from or have had contact with an ill person from an affected area including Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, or other areas with active Ebola cases: 

Notify Skagit County Public Health & Community Services at 360 336-9397 and:

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer twice each day, checking for any increasing temperature and watch for other symptoms: severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding

  2. Do not make long trips. Do not travel on commercial airplanes or long-distance trains, buses, or ships until 21 days after the last potential exposure.

  3. If fever or other symptoms develop within 21 days from last potential exposure, call your local health care provider or hospital to report the symptoms and your recent travel history PRIOR TO SEEKING CARE.  They will make arrangements for your visit to maintain isolation.   If 911 services are needed; notify dispatch of your travel history.  Limit contact with other people if symptoms develop.

If you have any questions you may phone Skagit County Public Health & Community Services at 360 336-9397. 

You may also find information from CDC:


For the time being, we will no longer be providing travel services to out of county residents.   We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.  We have listed the surrounding county health departments or districts phone numbers for your convenience.   We would recommend calling them to inquire what travel services are available in your area.

Snohomish Health District                                           425-339-5220
Whatcom County Health Department                           360-676-4593
Island County Health Department                                360-679-7351
San Juan County Health Department                            360-378-4474


Every year thousands of people in the United States die from flu (CDC, 2014-2015 VIS); even more will be hospitalized from complications of Influenza.

Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older. 

It is especially important for;

  • Young children
  • People 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with health conditions like; heart, lung, or kidney disease, nervouse system disorders, or a weakened immune system.
  • Care givers and household contacts of the above people
  • Care givers and household contacts of infants less than 6 months of age

Get your flu shots now; it is widely available through your health care providers office, pharmacies or here at the Health Department during our walk in clinics; M W Th 9-3:30

Enterovirus D68
September 19, 2014:  Washington State Department of Health is receiving reports of possible Enterovirus D68 cases in the state.  This cold-like virus can have serious health impacts for children with asthma or other respiratory problems.  Learn more
Get Vaccinated for Measles Now

There have been a number of measles cases recently in Washington State. In unrelated cases, residents of Whatcom County, San Juan County and a traveler passing through SeaTac airport were identified as contagious while in and traveling through multiple counties during the past two weeks.

Most people are immune but measles is highly contagious even before the rash starts, and is easily spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes — if you're not vaccinated, you can get the measles just by walking into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past couple of hours. Consult your health care provider for more information. The two links below provide more information.

Food Worker Cards Available Online

Do you work in Food Service? Food Worker cards are required for any employee in a food service establishment. Do you need to obtain a food worker card or renew an existing one? It is now more convenient than ever!

Skagit County Public Health Department is pleased to announce an Online Food Worker Card Class. Participants can take the training and test, pay by credit card and print out a food worker card from any computer. Follow this link: The video and test are available in multiple languages on this site. The Health Department will continue to offer testing at our Mount Vernon office Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM.

For more information, check Food Worker Card Frequently Asked Questions on our website or call the Health Department food safety staff at 360-336-9474.

Vaccination Planning
"Walk In" clinic for immunizations is open:
Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday
9:00 am to 11:45 am, and 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Travelers MUST check in NO later than 2:30

Travelers may come to the walk in clinic for vaccinations and consultations. No appointments are necessary. We carry all domestic and travel vaccines. Our address is 700 South 2nd St. Administration Building, Room 301.
Phone (360) 336-9477.

Administration, Food & Beverage Testing, Vital Statistics: (360) 336-9380 *
Nursing Clinics and Personal Health Services: (360) 336-9477 *
FAX: (360) 336 9401

Environmental Public Health
1800 Continental Place
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Environmental Health: (360) 336-9474 *
FAX: (360) 419-3408

*See Program and Services Guide for specific phone numbers and hours
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