Communicable Disease

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Communicable Disease

Director: Jennifer Johnson


COVID-19 | Drive-Thru Testing | Español

OPEN MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS AND FRIDAYS FROM 8:30 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M., AND TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS FROM 11:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M.
*NEW DATE: The agricultural testing site will be open on Wednesday, October 7. Location and time below.
LOCATION: Skagit Valley College, in the East Parking lot on the east side of McIntyre Hall

Use of the Drive-Thru testing site will be limited to those who live in or work in Skagit County. Those who do not live in or work in Skagit County should seek testing in their own communities or through their medical provider.

TESTING | RESULTS  |  WHAT TO EXPECT | FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Additional testing for Agricultural Workers is temporarily available at Maiben Park in Burlington:




Video: Public Testing

Conversations COVID-19: Public Testing | Transcript

TESTING

If you do not have insurance, you can still get tested. Nobody will be turned away for not having insurance, ID, or Social Security Number. If you are insured, bring your insurance card with you. If you do not have your insurance card available, you will need to know your insurance company, ID and group number (if applicable), and the name and birthday of the primary insured if it is not you.

Skagit County Public Health will test anyone who lives in or work in Skagit County, is five years of age or older and feels they should be tested, and is encouraging anyone who fits into the following guidelines to get tested:

  • Those who are essential workers
  • Anyone with any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Anyone whose physician recommended they be tested
  • Anyone who lives or works in a congregate setting
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone who is a close contact or has a known exposure to COVID-19

If you have had a known or probable exposure to COVID-19, you must wait 8 days before being tested. COVID-19 has a relatively long incubation period, so getting tested before 8 days has passed could result in a false negative. If you have questions about this, or any other questions related to COVID-19, please call Public Health at 360-416-1500.

If you have serious symptoms, such as fever higher than 100 degrees, cough and shortness of breath, consult your medical provider or seek care through one of the respiratory clinics in Skagit County.

 

The testing site is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. -4:00 p.m.
and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

Entrance and Registration Flagger

When you arrive, follow the signs and volunteers directing you to each station. This map represents the estimated flow of traffic, but may change. Beginning on August 31, 2020, testing will be limited to those who live in or work in Skagit County. A screening checkpoint will be added.

NOTE: Please follow flagger directions! If traffic volumes are high, flaggers may direct you through different holding areas designed to accommodate a large number of vehicles.

 

Station 1 - Screening Checkpoint

Beginning on August 31, 2020, testing will be limited to those who live in or work in Skagit County, or out of state residents visiting Skagit County residents. All vehicles will be screened for eligibility.

Station 2 - Registration

Proceed to the tent for instructions. Keep windows closed. Provide requested information. When signaled, move to testing station. Follow flagger directions.

 

Station 3 - Testing

There are two lanes for the testing tent. Proceed to the lane indicated by the flagger. Crack window for instructions. Receive self-swab testing kit and follow instructions. When complete, exit drive-through testing.

 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Updated 9/18/20

When is the drive-thru testing is happening?

The drive through site is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m.  We have capacity to test around 400 people per day.

Real time information about changes in testing site hours, wait times and weather conditions are provided on twitter at @SkagitGov

Where is the drive-thru located?

The testing site is at Skagit Valley College, in the East Parking lot on the east side of McIntyre Hall. We will have traffic control in place to manage vehicles entering and exiting the parking lot.

Who testing is for?


Beginning on August 31, 2020, testing will be limited to those who live in or work in Skagit County. Skagit County Public Health will test any Skagit resident or worker  five  years of age or older that feels they should be tested, and is encouraging anyone who fits into the following guidelines to get tested:
  • Those who are essential workers
  • Anyone with any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Anyone whose physician recommended they be tested
  • Anyone who lives or works in a congregate setting
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone who is a close contact or has a known exposure to COVID-19

Adults with serious symptoms such as fever higher than 100 degrees, cough, and or shortness of breath should consult with their medical provider or seek care through one of the respiratory clinics in Skagit County. Those who don’t reside in or work in Skagit County should seek testing through their medical provider or in their own community.

If you have had an exposure to COVID-19, you must wait at least 8 days before getting tested (as long as you don’t have symptoms). COVID-19 has a relatively long incubation period- getting tested before 8 days have passed could result in a false negative.

How old do I have to be to get tested?

Anyone age 5 or older can get tested at the drive-through site. Children younger than 5 should be seen by their pediatrician. A parent or guardian can do the nasal swab for a child depending on their age and ability. Site staff will verify the presence of a parent or guardian during registration, and document verbal parental consent for the test.

How does testing work?

The idea of getting tested may be a little unnerving – but it’s a simple process.  It takes only a few minutes and is a self-swab performed by the individual being tested.  Follow signs and instructions from volunteers to proceed through the registration and testing process. Testing is done inside your vehicle.  You will not need to exit your vehicle to get tested.

What type of testing procedure is provided?

The test is a viral test which tells you if you have a current infection. The test is a self-swab performed by the individual being tested.  This is a test that the public can do themselves.  The self-swab test will happen in your vehicle.  This method is MUCH less uncomfortable than nasopharyngeal swabs (NP).  The test itself takes about 20 seconds.  The individual will swab shallowly in each nostril, circling the swab 4 times on each side. 

Is the self-swab test effective?

The FDA, CDC and Washington State Department of Health have updated their guidelines for COVID-19 testing to make the process easier and less uncomfortable for patients.  The simple, patient-collected COVID-19 testing process is effective.  A self-administered nasal swab is similar to a nasopharyngeal swab in detecting coronavirus.

How long does it take to get tested?

We have the capacity to test up to 400 individuals per day. Our wait times vary with Mondays being the busiest with waits of up to 3 hours.   We recommend you plan for at least 1 hour to be safe.

Current wait times are regularly posted on our Twitter page: https://twitter.com/SkagitGov

What will you ask when I get tested?

The registration questions will take you a few minutes to answer.  You will need your insurance information to answer these questions.  If you do not have insurance, you can still get tested. Nobody will be turned away for not having insurance, ID, or Social Security Number. If you have those things, please bring them, but they are not required.

If you are insured, bring your insurance card with you. If you do not have your insurance card available, you will need to know your insurance company, ID and group number (if applicable), and the name and birthday of the primary insured if it is not you. It is very important that you provide complete, accurate information in order to be tested and to receive your test results.

What do I need to bring with me when I show up for testing?

If you have it, bring ID with your name and photo, and your insurance card if you have health insurance. When you arrive to the testing facility, follow signs and instructions from volunteers to proceed through the testing process. If you do not have a photo ID, please be prepared to provide your name, birth date, address and a phone number (cell with texting capability preferred) at registration.

If you do not have insurance, you can still get tested. Nobody will be turned away without insurance, ID, or Social Security Number. If you have those things, great, please bring them, but they are not required. If you are insured, bring your insurance card with you. If you do not have your insurance card available, you will need to know your insurance company, ID and group number (if applicable), and the name and birthday of the primary insured if it is not you.

 

Will you have interpreters on site for non-English speaking individuals?

Yes, we will have Spanish-speaking staff on site.

Is Public Health conducting the tests?

Public Health will observe but not conduct the specimen collection. A swab sample will be collected by the individual through a nasal self-swab; the swab will be placed into a test tube and labeled for testing at the laboratory. This is a method approved by the CDC and used by other testing sites. Public health will have a nurse at the testing stations, but there will be no medical screening offered.

Why is wide spread testing important?

The more people we can test, the safer our community will be.  Testing remains critical so that we can identify individuals who have been infected with COVID-19 and their close contacts.  It is crucial to isolate and quarantine people who are infected or at risk of being infected to contain the spread of the virus.  There is no treatment or vaccination available at this time, so isolation and quarantine is the best way to limit the spread of the virus.

As businesses being to re-open and more people are out and about we will have more community exposure, so testing will help us quickly identify potential exposures and get those people into isolation and quarantine to limit community transmission. 

If I am asymptomatic, how often should I get tested?

In general, we recommend asymptomatic testing only when there has been a known exposure or for those working in high risk work places where social distancing is difficult.  We do not recommend repeated testing for asymptomatic individuals at this time, however if you feel you have had an exposure, asymptomatic testing is available. It is recommended you wait at least 8 days after the probable exposure to seek testing. COVID-19 has a relatively long incubation period, and getting tested before 8 days has passed could result in a false negative.

If you are asymptomatic, we recommend you continue to take precautions and use good social distancing and hygiene practices. Social distancing and good hygiene are the best tools we have to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep ourselves and our communities safe.

How will you observe social distancing?

You will not need to leave your vehicle. Registration information will be collected through a closed vehicle window when entering the testing site. Tests will be conducted by the individual, and placed outside their vehicle for collection by staff.

What about people who don’t have vehicles, and rely on public transportation?



People who rely on public transportation can take transit to the testing location and walk through the testing site. Public Health will have appropriate procedures in place to safely test these individuals.

What impacts will the surrounding community notice?

Drivers in the area may notice increased traffic near Skagit Valley College, and should be alert for vehicles entering and exiting the parking lot. Drivers may also see tents, a public health trailer for supplies, cones, traffic controllers, and many other resources.

Is there a plan to mitigate those impacts?

Staff at the site will make sure to manage entering and exiting traffic to avoid impacts to drivers.

How long does it take to get test results back?

It takes an average of 24 to 72 hours to receive test results.

How will I get notified if my test is positive or negative?

Your negative result will be texted to you from a Skagit County Public Health phone number – or called if you can’t receive text messages. Skagit County Public Health will call you if your test is positive, and provide more information about self-isolation and quarantine of close contacts.

If my test is negative, does that mean I’m immune – or safe to go back to my normal routines?

A negative test does NOT mean that you’re immune. It just means that you aren’t currently infected with COVID-19. You can still get infected if you come into contact with someone who is contagious. Continuing to wear masks when in public, keeping 6 feet of physical distance between yourself and others, and frequently washing your hands are the best ways to protect your health.

If I have tested positive and have been in isolation, should I get tested again to be sure I get a negative result and I am not still infectious?

No.  Often a test will still show a positive result at the end of your isolation period, even when you are no longer infectious.  The test is quite sensitive and will pick up old genetic matter, even though the virus is dead.  If you tested positive, please follow Public Health guidance for isolation.  All individuals should be in isolation for 10 days or until 72 hours after symptoms go away, whichever is longer.

If I need to provide documentation to my employer about my test results, how can I do that?

Public Health can provide documentation upon request.

Will this testing allow Skagit County to lift any part of the stay home, stay healthy order?\

Not immediately, but it’s a start. We know that widespread testing must be available to open up the economy and ease the Stay Home, Stay Healthy guidelines. Expanded testing provides improved control of community spread, which will be critical as the Governor’s order is lifted. As more people interact, it increases the risk of spreading the virus; having broader testing allows us to identify individuals who have the virus so that they can self-isolate to not spread the virus further.

How much testing would we need to do to lift the stay home, stay healthy order?

This kind of testing is being started now to provide improved control of the pandemic and improved control of community spread. It will help as the Governor’s stay home, stay healthy order changes, and as we have more community exposure, to quickly identify potential exposures and get those people into isolation and quarantine. The more we can test people, the safer those interactions may be.

If testing won’t let us lift the order, then why are we doing it?

This kind of testing is being started now to provide improved control of the pandemic and improved control of community spread. It will help as the Governor’s stay home, stay healthy order changes, and as we have more community exposure, to quickly identify potential exposures and get those people into isolation and quarantine. The more we can test people, the safer those interactions may be.

Where we are getting the tests from?

We are getting testing supplies from NW Laboratory in Bellingham.

How many tests can we do each day?

As community need increases, we have increased our testing capacity. Initially, we hoped to test 200 people per day. We are currently testing around 400 people or more per day.

How long de we plan to conduct drive-through testing?

We will conduct drive-through testing for as long as there is community need.

How costs are being managed?

Skagit Valley College is donating the space and providing volunteers. Skagit County DEM is providing additional volunteers. NW Pathology will do all billing of insurance and clients. Cost to the individual is based on the individual’s policy coverage. Public Health Lab will cover costs for uninsured individuals.

Will my insurance cover this test? If not, how much will it cost?

NW Laboratory will do all billing of insurance and clients. Cost to the individual is based on the individual’s policy coverage. The individual is responsible for checking their insurance for coverages and out-of-pocket costs. If you have insurance, please bring your insurance information with you to the site.

Can I pay out of pocket if I don’t have insurance?

The federal government will reimburse NW Laboratory for the cost of testing for people who can confirm that they do not have insurance.

If I think I’ve been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, but I don’t have symptoms; can I get tested?

Yes. Anyone who is a close contact of a COVID-19 case can get tested. You must wait until 8 days after the probable contact before getting tested. COVID-19 has a relatively long incubation period, and getting tested before 8 days has passed could result in a false negative.



I don't live or work in Skagit County- where can I get tested?

Testing is available through your health care provider, and through many other publically operated testing sites in Washington State. Contact the Health Department or District where you live to find out the best place for you to get tested.

Whatcom County Health Department: 360-778-6000 or health@co.whatcom.wa.us
Snohomish Health District: 425-339-5234 or cdquestions@snohd.org
Island County Health Department: 360-678-2301or pubhealth@islandcountywa.gov
San Juan County Health Department: 360-370-7500
Seattle-King County Health Department: 206-477-3977 or email form available