- Be aware, on March 4, Washington State Department of Health (DOH) discontinued ordering Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine because inventory is very low at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Washington Immunization Information System (IIS). We encourage providers to post and look for available doses on IIS vaccine advertisement page. Email questions and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Be aware, DOH updated its COVID-19 guidance for healthcare settings. Key updates include:
- Residents not up to date with COVID-19 vaccine who are exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for 10 days or 7 days with a negative test.
- People with COVID-19 should not visit healthcare settings for 10 days.
- Visitors not up to date with COVID-19 vaccine who are exposed to COVID-19 should not visit healthcare facilities until 10 days after exposure or 7 days with a negative test.
- Updated DOH guidance:
- Interim COVID-19 outbreak definition for healthcare settings.
- Interim guidance for long-term care: Transferring between long-term care and other healthcare settings.
- Preventing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during aerosol generating and other procedures.
- Long-term care facility testing for staff and residents.
- Recommendations for cohorting in long-term care facilities during a COVID-19 outbreak.
- Outdoor visitation guidance for long-term care settings.
- COVID-19 visitor guidance for inpatient hospital and outpatient settings.
- Strongly recommend patients get COVID-19 vaccine. You are patients’ most trusted source of vaccine information.
- Teach patients how to access, use and interpret at-home antigen test kits. Direct patients to the many COVID-19 testing sites in our community.
- Teach patients with mild to moderate illness how to care for themselves at home and when to go to the emergency department.
COVID-19 vaccine information
- Clinical considerations for the use of COVID-19 vaccine, CDC.
- Clinician outreach and communication activity (COCA) call slides, CDC.
- Booster dose updates, Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Emergency use authorization (EUA) and FDA-approved vaccine information:
- COVID-19 vaccine locator, DOH.
- COVID-19 vaccine for providers, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.
- COVID-19 vaccine provider toolkit and resources, DOH.
- COVID-19 vaccination for providers, 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||24 hours||3,000|
|UW Virology||12–24 hours||10,000–11,000|
|Atlas Genomic||24–48 hours||10,000|
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 email@example.com 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.
- HHS COVID-19 therapeutics locator for providers.
- DOH therapeutics for providers page.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 treatment guidelines.
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-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 Public Health at (360) 778-6100.
- CDC COVID-19 Health Equity Resources.
- Washington COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard.
- CDC guidance for healthcare providers and facilities.
- DOH COVID-19 data dashboard.
- DOH COVID-19 page.
- CDC COVID-19 page.
- Pierce County COVID-19 response and recovery page.
- SARS-CoV-2 sequencing and variants in Washington.