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May 19, 2021

COVID-19 Updates from Skagit Count

Roadmap to Recovery Reopening Update

On May 13, Governor Inslee moved all counties to Phase 3 of the Roadmap to Recovery plan, and announced that on June 30, the vast majority of COVID-19 related restrictions will be lifted. Certain restrictions will remain in place for large events, such as spectator sporting events, but most businesses will be able to function at full capacity without restriction. You can read more about this here.

Additional restrictions could be put back in place if Statewide ICU occupancy reaches 90 percent or higher. For this reason, it remains critical that people get their COVID vaccine! This is the best way to keep our ICU numbers low, and to protect ourselves and loved ones.

Pfizer Vaccine Available to Those 12+

On May 12, the WA Department of Health expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to everyone 12 years of age and older. Prior to this decision, the Pfizer vaccine was granted an emergency use authorization by the FDA on May 12 to expand to people 12 years and older. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup also voted to recommend the vaccine for immediate use.

Individuals 12 years of age and older can now access the Pfizer vaccine at vaccine provider locations across Washington State. Please note: All dependent minors (ages 12-17) will require parental consent to be vaccinated. This can be done in-person at the appointment or verbally over the phone.

No Residency Restrictions to Access a Vaccine

In the state of Washington, there are no longer residency restrictions to access a COVID vaccine. Vaccine providers can provide vaccines to anyone 12 years and older (if administering Pfizer) or anyone 18 years and older (if administering Moderna of Johnson & Johnson), regardless of place of residency.

Vaccine Availability

COVID vaccines are easily accessible to anyone 12 years and older in Washington state. To find a provider near you, go to: https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/.

The Skagit County Fairgrounds is a great option for those looking for a low-barrier option. The site now operates fully as a drive-thru vaccination site and appointments are no longer required. If an individual would like to schedule a specific timeslot, they may still do so by going to: www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine. Otherwise, we encourage people 12+ to drop by anytime during the following hours:

  • Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 10am-4pm
  • Thursday: 1pm-7pm

A note for parents/guardians of minors:

  • Public Health staff can vaccinate your child age 12+, but we are not pediatric specialists. If your child has any special medical needs, or has a history of reactions to vaccines, it may be better that they get vaccinated in a medical setting.
  • Most vaccinating at Public Health is done in a drive-through format, where the patient stays in the vehicle. Please consult with your pediatrician if you child has severe needle anxiety or phobia, or requires parent holds during vaccination.

Vaccines On-The-Go!

Skagit County Public Health is really excited to be able to do vaccine mobile community outreach this spring and summer. Our staff will be administering free COVID vaccines to those 12 years and older at community events across Skagit County. For a list of some of our upcoming dates, go to: https://bit.ly/2RsRL4m. For information, call (360) 416-1500. 

CDC Masking Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

In case people were needed more reason to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the CDC updated their guidance around masking for fully vaccinated individuals on May 13 and no longer recommends masks for fully vaccinated individuals in most settings!

To be considered fully vaccinated, one must be two weeks out from receiving their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks out from receiving their single dose of Johnson & Johnson.

Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, or local regulations, as well as local business and workplace guidance. Fully vaccinated individuals also need to continue to mask on public transit and in schools, hospitals, and correctional facilities.

Further, most fully vaccinated people can refrain from testing following a known exposure. For the full guidance, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html.