Test site to be closed Monday, January 25; start new hours next week

(MOUNT VERNON)- Skagit Public Health wants to remind everyone that beginning January 26, the Skagit County Drive Through Testing Site will be moving to new hours and days of operation to complement vaccination clinics being provided at the Fairgrounds. The test site will be closed on Monday, January 25 to facilitate logistical changes and staff training at the site. Beginning on January 26, the drive through testing site will operate Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. No appointment will be required, but people are encouraged to use Skagit Public Health’s new pre-registration system to streamline the testing process.     (read more)

NWCAA cancels Columbia Valley burn ban

(WHATCOM COUNTY)- The Northwest Clean Air Agency has canceled a Stage 2 air quality burn ban in the Columbia Valley urban growth area (including the Peaceful Valley and Paradise Lakes developments) in Whatcom County. Air quality has improved at this time, but NWCAA urges residents to limit indoor wood burning as much as possible to avoid another burn ban in the near future. Burn bans are based on weather forecasts and current air pollution from small particles. They are called when air quality is predicted to be worse than the national health-based standard for at least 24 hours. Fine particles in     (read more)

Latest Skagit County COVID-19 numbers

(SKAGIT COUNTY)- According to Skagit County Public Health, the latest numbers show 3,655 positive COVID-19 cases (37 new cases) in the county, with 222 hospitalizations, and 46 deaths.     (read more)

Bill to provide voters ‘unaffiliated’ option during presidential primaries introduced

(OLYMPIA)— State Rep. Skyler Rude (R-Walla Walla) has sponsored request legislation from Secretary of State Kim Wyman to allow for greater voter participation in presidential primaries. Introduced in the state Legislature this week, House Bill 1265 gives voters an option on the presidential primary ballot to not declare a party affiliation. It allows unaffiliated votes (i.e., those cast by voters who do not indicate their party preference) to qualify for the presidential primary and be counted. Currently, state law requires voters to mark and sign the party declaration on their ballot envelope (RCW 29A.56.050). The voter’s party declaration is     (read more)

No indoor or outdoor burning allowed in Columbia Valley

(WHATCOM COUNTY)- Effective immediately, no indoor or outdoor wood burning is allowed in the Columbia Valley urban growth area (including the Peaceful Valley and Paradise Lakes developments) in Whatcom County because cold, calm air is preventing harmful wood smoke from clearing out, according to the Northwest Clean Air Agency. Fine particles in wood smoke are harmful because they can be inhaled deeply into lungs and damage delicate tissues. During this Stage 2 burn ban, all burning is prohibited unless you qualify for an exemption from NWCAA. (See for information.) Exemptions are available if a woodstove is     (read more)

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