But another site was opened at the Bellingham airport Monday 

WHATCOM — The COVID-19 testing site at the Northwest Fairgrounds in Lynden was closed on Saturday, Feb. 13, due to inclement weather in the forecast.

“We made this decision to protect the safety of individuals seeking testing as well as our staff and volunteers,” said Whatcom Unified Command’s incident commander, John Wolpers.

The normal schedule is from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Those who had Saturday appointments were to be notified and given the opportunity to re-register for a later date. Testing reopened on Tuesday, Feb. 16, in Lynden. 

“If you have COVID-19 symptoms over the weekend, please continue self-quarantine until you’re able to get tested and receive your results,” said Mark Raaka, COVID-19 response manager with the Whatcom County Health Department. 

Already planned was the start-up of an additional site for testing on  Monday, Feb. 15. It will be at Bellingham International Airport in parking lot A. Appointments can be made, as in the past,  at www.testdirectly.com/whatcom

This is for COVID-19 testing, not vaccinations.

County Health partnered with Northwest Laboratory to open the new drive-through testing site in Bellingham. It will be operated by Northwest and will be integrated into the same operational and scheduling processes as other Whatcom testing sites, such as the Lynden fairgrounds and mobile testing clinics.

“Northwest Laboratories answered the call, as they have so many times for our community during this pandemic,” said Erika Lautenbach, Health Department director. “This will greatly expand our testing reach and capacity, especially for Bellingham and Ferndale residents.”

The airport space is provided by the Port of Bellingham at no cost.

The Bellingham community testing site will run seven days a week from noon to 3 p.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. It’s already possible to schedule appointments through www.testdirectly.com/whatcom.

The testing site in Lynden will continue to operate with a slightly modified schedule starting Wednesday, Feb. 17. Wednesdays are the only day affected by the schedule change, with hours from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. The Lynden site was closed on Monday, Feb. 15, in observance of Presidents Day, but the new Bellingham site was open. 

To schedule an appointment for COVID-19 testing at either site, go to TestDirectly.com/whatcom. Whatcom County Health Department volunteers also provide assistance over the phone for people who speak languages other than English or who lack internet access. For assistance in this way, call 360-778-6075 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

The two testing sites do not require a medical provider’s referral before testing. The Northwest Laboratory testing site operated at 3548 Guide Meridian St. does require a provider’s referral and is primarily for pre-operative testing or referrals from other healthcare providers.

Visit whatcomcounty.us/covidtesting for updated information about COVID-19 testing in Whatcom County.