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August 18, 2021

COVID-19 Updates from Skagit County

Pass Lake closed until further notice due to high Anatoxin-a levels

Users of Deception Pass State Park should be aware that Pass Lake in the Skagit County portion of the park is closed until further notice due to high Anatoxin-a levels. Anatoxin-a is an acute neurotoxin that can be harmful to humans and animals. Even short-term exposure is a concern. Signs of Neurotoxin Poisoning appear within 15-20 minutes of ingestion, and may include:

  • In people: numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness.
  • In animals: weakness, staggering, difficulty breathing, convulsions, and death.

Contact a healthcare provider immediately if you become ill or have symptoms after a suspected exposure to algae bloom. For the full press release: https://bit.ly/37OVfCC

Case Counts/Hospitalizations Continuing to Increase in Skagit County

Skagit County has a total of 7,000 cases (PCR and antigen-positive), 414 hospitalizations, and 82 deaths.

Skagit currently has a case rate of 304.3 per 100k over the last 14 days and a hospitalization rate of 4.6 COVID patients per 100k over the last seven days. 

Vaccines in Skagit County

A total of 157,899 vaccine doses have been administered in Skagit County so far. We are at 67.1 percent of all Skagitonians 12 years and older partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

Our pop-up vaccine clinics are available to anyone 12+ (when Pfizer available) or 18+ (when J&J available); no appointment needed! Visit our website for a full list: www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine.

Upcoming pop-up dates this week include:

For a full list, go to: https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/.

FDA Announcement: COVID-10 Vaccine Third Doses for Certain
Immunocompromised Individuals

The Washington Department of Health (DOH) released a 
statement on Saturday, August 14 providing guidance to health care providers regarding administration of third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to certain immunocompromised individuals. This statement follows recommendations made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP), and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

While authorized vaccines have proven to be more than 90% effective in protecting against most variants, emerging data suggest people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems do not always build the same level of immunity compared to people who are not immunocompromised. The third dose is not considered a booster, rather an additional dose for individuals who did not adequately develop immunities with the initial two-dose series.

People are asked to speak with their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time.

For full details: https://skagitcounty.blog/?p=3458

Vaccine Booster Doses

In a joint statement today (8/18/21), top administration health officials said people would need COVID-19 vaccine boosters beginning eight months after their second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

Currently being developed is a plan to begin offering these booster shots this fall subject to FDA conducting an independent evaluation and determination of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issuing booster dose recommendations based on a thorough review of the evidence. The statement also noted that a booster shot will likely be needed for people who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine, however more data is needed to make this determination.

Skagit County Public Health is waiting on determinations from the FDA, CDC, and Washington Department of Health, and will not be providing vaccine boosters until more is known. Only certain Immunocompromised individuals are eligible for a third dose of mRNA vaccine at this time. See the section above for more information.

COVID-19 Testing Options

Skagit County Public Health is now offering free antigen testing at our Wednesday evening vaccine clinics at the Skagit County Administrative Building (700 S 2nd St., Mount Vernon, WA 98273). We accept anyone 5 years and older; no appointment or insurance required. Test results are available in 15 minutes. Note: This is NOT intended as a pre-travel test.

For a full list of local testing options, go to: https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirusTESTsites.htm.