12/13/21: Health Advisory: COVID-19 Updates for Providers

COVID-19 Updates for Providers

Requested actions

  • Be aware, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommend everyone 16 years or older get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose at the recommended interval. This recommendation comes after Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded its emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to 16- and 17-year-olds.
  • Be aware, the FDA issued an EUA for AstraZeneca’s Evusheld for the pre-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 administered by intramuscular injections in people over 12 years (weighing at least 88 pounds) not currently infected with SARS-CoV-2 who have not been able to mount an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination or have a history of severe adverse reactions to a COVID-19 vaccine and/or its components.
    • Be aware, there will be a very limited supply of this long-term monoclonal antibody available initially. All doses will be allocated through the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Healthcare Partner Ordering Portal (HPoP).
    • Register for a training on HPoP by emailing mcm@doh.wa.gov. Training are on Tuesdays 9–10 a.m. in December.
  • Be aware, Evusheld supplies are, initially, very limited. All doses will be allocated through Health and Human Services’ Healthcare Partner Ordering Portal (HPoP).
    • Email mcm@doh.wa.gov to register for HPoP training, held 9–10 a.m. on Tuesdays in December.
  • Be aware, CDC issued a health advisory warning regarding COVID-19 variant of concern Omicron (B.1.1.529). We know of at least four Omicron case detected in Washington State; currently under investigation. One is a Whatcom County resident.
    • Consider Omicron as part of your differential diagnosis for patients who present with generalized fatigue or malaise. Many cases of Omicron are linked with mild, generalized symptoms. Preliminary evidence suggests no unusual symptoms are associated with Omicron.
    • Take a travel history for all suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases before community transmission of Omicron becomes more prevalent.
      • Notify the Health Department of a confirmed case with history of international travel within 14 days before symptom onset or positive test, if asymptomatic.
      • Notify the Health Department of all close contacts of a confirmed case of Omicron infection.
    • Continue to follow NIH treatment guidelines for COVID-19 infection. No data exists yet about the effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies or antiviral therapies against Omicron.
    • Encourage all eligible patients to get booster doses and all patients 5 years or older to get fully vaccinated.
      • Continue to report all COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the Washington Immunization Information System (IIS). Washington State Department of Health’s Vaccine Locator uses this data to help people find COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Remind patients how to prevent COVID-19 infection and stop its spread: wear a mask, maintain physical distance, get vaccinated, ensure good ventilation and get tested if you have symptoms or have been exposed.
    • Certain PCR tests can screen for Omicron because of its S gene deletion. Ask your labs if they can monitor for Omicron. Labs should send possible Omicron specimens to DOH Public Health Lab for sequencing.

COVID-19 vaccine resources

COVID-19 testing resources

Patient education

Share the following materials with patients.

Immediately report COVID-19

To report, call the reporting line We ask that you notify us of patients being tested who are hospitalized or have contact with a confirmed case, and not wait for the lab confirmation. Fax the COVID-19 Report Form to 360-778-6103. You can leave us a non-urgent confidential report on our 24-hour Communicable Disease Report Line, 360-778-6150.

Contacting the Health Department

360-778-6100         Main Call Line – available M-F 8:30am to 4:30pm
360-715-2588         Afterhours Answering Service – available after 4:30pm and weekends
360-778-6150         Communicable Disease Report Line – 24 hours a day 7 days a week
360-778-6103         Confidential Communicable Disease Fax – 24 hours a day 7 days a week

1500 N State Street, Bellingham WA 98225

Additional resources