BELLINGHAM, WA – Low-barrier, community COVID-19 testing through the Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) and Whatcom Unified Command (WUC) will soon be provided at a new location at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden. The new location will provide shelter from winter weather and replace current testing sites. Testing will continue to be available five days per week, including one weekend day. The location change is effective Tuesday, Dec. 1, and will be reflected in the test scheduling software.
Since August, WUC and WCHD have partnered to provide low-barrier, community drive-through COVID-19 testing across the county. The arrival of Fall and inclement weather necessitated finding a covered location able to accommodate drive-through testing. The new location will protect those being tested, as well as test site volunteers and staff, from harsh weather conditions. The new location also ensures there should be fewer, if any, weather-related cancellations of community testing.
“We know that COVID-19 will be with us for some time – and ongoing testing will be needed even once a vaccine is available in our community,” said Erika Lautenbach, Whatcom County Health Director. “That’s why it is so important to have this new testing location established for the seasons to come, as it will be safe and accessible regardless of the variations in weather we can expect to experience from late fall through early spring.”
Between Nov. 25 and Nov. 30, the WUC/WCHD testing site will vary between the Fairgrounds and existing sites according to the following schedule:
- Wednesday, Nov. 25: 9am-12pm at the Nooksack Casino parking lot in Deming 1-4pm at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden
- Thursday, Nov. 26: No testing
- Friday, Nov. 27: 12-3pm and 4-7pm at the Fairgrounds in Lynden
- Saturday, Nov. 28: 9am-12pm and 1-4pm at Civic Field parking lot in Bellingham
- Monday, Nov. 30: 9am-12pm and 1-4pm at Civic Field parking lot in Bellingham
Beginning Tuesday, Dec. 1, all WCHD/WUC testing will be at the fairgrounds site:
- Mondays, 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm
- Tuesdays, 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm
- Wednesdays, 12pm-3pm and 4pm-7pm
- Thursdays closed
- Fridays, 12pm-3pm and 4pm-7pm
- Saturdays, 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm
- Sundays closed
Community members may sign up via TestDirectly (or by phone at 360-788-6075) to make an appointment for WUC/WCHD COVID-19 testing.
Those being tested should allow up to 72 hours to receive results and must quarantine until receiving news of a negative test result.
“Testing is important for mitigating the spread of COVID-19, but it is not the only tool,” said Lautenbach. “The most important actions we can take to minimize spread of the disease continue to be wearing a mask, maintaining physical space from others, and staying home when you’re sick or if you’ve been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.”
For more information about testing or to sign up, visit http://whatcomcounty.us/covidtesting.