COVID-19 Updates for Providers
- Be aware, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full authorization to Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 years or older. Evidence shows the vaccine is safe and effective and manufactured with high quality. The vaccine will now be called Spikevax but has the same formulation as emergency use authorization (EUA) Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
- Strongly recommend patients get vaccinated.
- Encourage moderately to severely immunocompromised patients to get a:
- Third dose of their primary series COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after their second dose.
- Booster dose 5 months after their third dose.
- Encourage patients who got Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to get a booster dose 2 months after their first dose.
- Tell patients how to access, use and interpret at-home antigen test kits. Many people are going to local emergency departments seeking COVID-19 testing, increasing the burden on our hospital system. Direct patients to the many COVID-19 testing sites available.
- Tell patients with mild to moderate illness how to care for themselves at home and when to go to the emergency department.
- Booster dose updates, FDA.
- EUA and FDA-approved vaccine information:
- COVID-19 vaccine locator, Washington State Department of Health, DOH.
- COVID-19 vaccine provider toolkit and resources, DOH.
- COVID-19 vaccination for providers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC.
- Clinical considerations for COVID-19 vaccination and guidance for managing anaphylaxis, CDC.
- COVID-19 vaccine quick reference guide for healthcare professionals, CDC.
- COVID-19 vaccine training module on best practices for providers, CDC.
COVID-19 test processing
Labs report varying amounts of time to process COVID-19 tests. To support faster turnaround, we encourage providers to use in-state labs. The table below shows COVID-19 test processing times for in-state private labs.
|Lab||Time to process test||Tests processed daily|
|Northwest Pathology||48–72 hours||20,000|
|UW Virology||24–48 hours||10,000–11,000|
|Atlas Genomic||24–48 hours||10,000|
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allocates monoclonal antibody and oral antiviral supplies to each state. DOH distributes doses to enrolled providers. Providers must enroll in Healthcare Partner Ordering Portal (HPoP) to manage COVID-19 therapeutics. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for HPoP training, held Tuesdays at 9 a.m.
- Once enrolled, to request a supply of monoclonal antibodies or therapeutics, complete a smart sheet.
Supplies of all therapies are current limited. Safeway and independent pharmacies may have oral antivirals. Hospital-associated systems may have monoclonal antibodies. All therapies must be dispensed by prescription. Therapies from Safeway are intended to be delivered to patients’ homes. Patients with questions about accessing their medication should call the pharmacy.
You can find:
- Available doses in your area with HHS’ COVID-19 therapeutics locator.
- More information and resources on DOH’s therapeutics for providers page.
COVID-19 prevention patient education
Share with patients:
- What to do if you test positive for COVID-19.
- What to do if you were exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Immediately report COVID-19We 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 DepartmentQuestions?
- Contact Whatcom County 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