02/25/22 Health Advisory: COVID-19 Updates for Providers

Four doctors talking as seen from above. Two with white coats and 2 in scrubs.

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Background

In people 18–39 years old, myocarditis occurs in an estimated 23–33 per million people following a second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly all cases are transient and can be treated on an outpatient basis. Recent research shows increasing the interval between first and second doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine from 3–4 weeks to 8 weeks can reduce the risk of myocarditis by over half while also substantially improving efficacy.

CDC guidance allows clinicians to decide when the benefits of the extended interval exceed the increased risk of COVID‑19 infection. Regardless of the interval between first and second doses, a booster dose should be delivered no sooner than 5 months after the second dose. These changes do not affect people with compromised immune systems or people over 65 years old, as the risk of COVID-19 infection outweighs the benefit of reduced myocarditis incidence.

Additional COVID-19 vaccine information

COVID-19 testing

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. If you have questions about Health Department-facilitated antigen tests, contact epitesting@tpchd.org.

LabTime to process testTests processed daily
FidaLab24 hours500
Kaiser24-48 hours600
LabCorp24–48 hoursUnknown
Northwest Pathology24 hours3,000
Quest24–48 hours700
UW Virology12–24 hours10,000–11,000
Atlas Genomic24–48 hours10,000

COVID-19 therapies

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allocates monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals to each state. DOH distributes doses to enrolled providers. Providers must enroll in Healthcare Partner Ordering Portal (HPoP) to manage COVID-19 therapies. Email mcm@doh.wa.gov for support enrolling.

Once enrolled, to request a supply of monoclonal antibodies or therapeutics, complete a smart sheet.

Supplies of all therapies are currently limited. Commercial and independent pharmacies may have oral antivirals. Hospital-associated systems may have monoclonal antibodies. All therapies must be dispensed by prescription. Therapies from pharmacies may be intended for home delivery. Patients with questions about accessing their medication should call the pharmacy.

Additional information

COVID-19 prevention

Share with patients:

Immediately report COVID-19

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

Questions?
  • 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

Additional resources