With the Delta variant of COVID 19 spreading rapidly, there are renewed efforts to control this pandemic.  While trying to avoid another total lockdown, the state and local authorities are offering solutions. The Delta variant is extremely transmissible.  This virus continues to mutate and is constantly looking for new hosts and will adapt to vaccines and treatments to avoid being exterminated.

Statistics bear out that those vaccinated will have less severe or no symptoms but can transmit the virus unknowingly to everyone they encountered.  We can expect more mutations and this to stay among us for a long time.  Think smallpox, polio, and other diseases that the world has fought and eventually eradicated.

Skagit County is reopening the fairgrounds again beginning today for testing and vaccinations.  No appointments are necessary.  The testing is self-administered with results in 15 minutes.  It is available to ages five years and up.  There is no cost or insurance proof necessary.  It is totally free.  The hours are Monday through Friday from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

“We understand that this decision to reopen the Fairgrounds site may seem like we are moving backwards to some, but this decision is a sign of our county’s strength and endurance.” said Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director. “We are fortunate to be able to respond to rising cases and increasing demand for testing and vaccination by reopening the site. It shows that we can act quickly and effectively when action is needed.”

Those seeking testing or vaccination are asked to come to the South Gate Entrance of the Fairgrounds, located at 501 Taylor Street, Mt Vernon, WA 98273. Both testing and vaccination will be operating as a drive-through clinic, though accommodations will be available to those who arrive on foot or who require assistance.

FDA approved Pfizer, Moderna and J&J vaccines are available to everyone 12 years and older. If you are immunized compromised, third booster shots are also available by appointment.  For more information about the Skagit County fairgrounds testing and vaccination site, please go to Skagit Fairgrounds Coronavirus or call (360) 416-1500.

While indoor mask mandates are in effect for those 5 years or older, currently there is no mandate for outdoor activities, though it is highly recommended.  Imagine being at a major sporting event, with many people without masks.  You have no way of knowing if they are vaccinated or not.  So, protect yourself and those around you.  While the debate rages on about vaccination proof, and false vaccination cards, your best defense is to protect yourself and your family and friends.

Marcee Maylin has a degree in Editorial Journalism from the University of Washington and 30+ years media experience. She is currently the Editor of the Everett Post dedicated to providing current, relevant, and entertaining content for the local community.