Whatcom County Health Department Tested More than 1,800 People During Recent Drive-Through Testing Pilot

What percentage tested positive?

Submitted by the Whatcom County Health Department

Whatcom County concluded its second round of pilot COVID-19 drive-through testing at the Bellingham Civic Field Complex on Saturday afternoon. No-cost testing was provided without an appointment or healthcare provider referral to over 1,800 people over four days that the testing site was active.

Who Came to Get Tested?

We tested 1,814 people over both weekends the pilot testing site was open, with 1,021 tests conducted last weekend alone. About 1% of test results came back positive. 

We’ve notified everyone of their results except for those with missing contact information. Anyone who has not received results should call 360-778-6100 or email Health_TestingCOVID19@co.whatcom.wa.us.

Here are some highlights of what we learned. You can see more details in the data tables below.

  • 29.3% of those tested were age 19-29, and 25.4% were 30-49.
  • About 70% of those tested reported they live in Bellingham. Very few individuals came from outside of Whatcom County.
  • 86% of those tested reported having health insurance. 
  • 33.5% reported that they have a primary healthcare provider.
  • 11.3% of people tested said they were close contacts of a confirmed case.
  • 23.7% reported that they had symptoms and were not a close contact of a confirmed case.
  • 64.5% wanted to be tested for screening purposes only.

The numbers here are accurate as of noon on Monday, July 20. Final numbers are still pending as we go through our usual data reconciliation and verification process.

Next Steps

We are learning from this testing process and working with Whatcom Unified Command to determine the best strategy for expanding testing capacity in Whatcom County. More information will be available later this week.

Additional Testing Options

Getting tested is cost-free to everyone, with or without insurance

Currently, the easiest way to get tested is to get a referral from your primary care provider. Northwest Labs in Bellingham offers drive-through testing by appointment if you have a doctor’s referral. They typically have appointments available within 24 hours.

If you do not have a primary care provider you can contact your insurance provider or check their website to get a list of doctors in your provider network. 

SeaMar Community Health Center is providing testing for all community members, whether you are a patient there or not. 

More information about testing options in Whatcom County can be found on our testing page.

Data Tables

The tables below provide information about who was tested during both weekends, by age group and location of residence. 

Percentage of People Tested by Age Group
Percentage of People Tested by Place of Residence
Lummi Island130.7%
Blaine/Custer/Birch Bay894.9%
Maple Falls181.0%
King County281.5%
Skagit County140.8%
Snohomish County90.5%
Pierce County40.2%
Island County90.5%
Other WA Counties140.8%
Out of State613.4%
Location not provided80.4%
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