COVID-19: Vaccines, boosters, testing, and visitor guidelines. Please use ER for emergencies only. As significantly higher COVID surge looms, we ask for your help in preventing spread of the disease.

Seeking a COVID-19 test? If symptoms are mild, please consider other options besides Emergency Department

January 5, 2022

BELLINGHAM, WA – Due to a significant increase in patients visiting the Emergency Department amidst the current omicron COVID-19 surge, PeaceHealth is asking people seeking COVID testing—both those who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic—to consider other community testing options before visiting the ER.

“Our caregivers work tirelessly to provide quality care to all patients who come through our doors, but there are times when our emergency department isn’t the best option,” said Dr. Sudhakar Karlapudi, chief medical officer of the PeaceHealth Northwest network. “Freeing up space and keeping wait times down in the ED lets us do what we do best: quickly and skillfully taking care of acute medical emergencies.”

Dr. Karlapudi noted that people should always visit the emergency department for serious and life-threatening medical emergencies.

Below are links to COVID-19 testing resources in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties:

Dr. Karlapudi urges anyone who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 booster shot. “The booster is hands-down the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against COVID-19,” he said.