COVID-19 Testing

Page updated: Friday July 31, 2020 at 4:09 p.m. 

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Who Can Get Tested?

Anyone can get tested. However, healthcare providers are focusing on people with symptoms of COVID-19 and their contacts. Even if you have mild symptoms, please get tested.

Should I get tested?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms you should get a test. Even if your symptoms are mild, getting a test can be informative and help you know if you are currently contagious. If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case, you should get tested. 

How to Get Tested

If you have health insurance and a healthcare provider:

  • Your healthcare provider will help you determine if you need to be tested. They may test you or give you a referral to another testing site.  

If you have insurance but don’t have a regular healthcare provider:

  • Work with your insurance company to find a healthcare provider that accepts your insurance. 
  • If you need a test right away: 
    • Contact a walk-in or urgent care clinic. Check with your insurance to see which clinics are in your network. Call the clinic ahead of time so that you don't expose other people. 

    • If you can’t get scheduled quickly, call us at 360-778-6100 between 8:30 and 4:30 Monday through Friday for assistance with testing.

  • It’s a good idea to establish an ongoing relationship with a healthcare provider, and now is a perfect time. If you require care for COVID-19 or any other health concern in the future, you’ll want a healthcare provider on your team.

If you do not have insurance or a regular healthcare provider:

  • Visit our FAQs page for information about what to do if you don’t have insurance.
  • If you can’t get scheduled quickly, call us at 360-778-6100 between 8:30 and 4:30 Monday through Friday.

Testing Costs

It won’t cost you anything to get tested. 

Insurance companies are required to waive co-pays and deductibles for anyone requiring testing for COVID-19. Additional information insurance coverage and testing costs are available on our FAQs page.

If you are insured and charged for a COVID-19 testing-associated visit, this is considered a "surprise billing." You can file a complaint with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.  

If you are uninsured, tell the provider who is ordering your test. There is a federal program that will cover the cost of testing, but some providers may not have access to this program. If your provider doesn’t have access to the program, they will be able to help you find a referral that will cover the costs. 

If you can’t get scheduled for testing quickly or are not eligible for insurance, please call us at 360-778-6100 between 8:30 and 4:30 Monday through Friday for assistance. We’ll help connect you to testing.

Testing Locations

Many healthcare providers in Whatcom County offer testing. The table below is updated weekly with information about which providers currently test for COVID-19.

Northwest Laboratory at 3548 Meridian Street, Suite 101 in Bellingham offers drive-through testing for patients who have referrals from their healthcare provider and have made appointments. If you have a physician’s referral, call 360-527-4592 to schedule an appointment. Visit their website for more information.

Care Medical Group

For more information call 360-734-4300 or visit their website.

Family Care Network

For more information on COVID-19 services and clinic locations visit their website.

Lummi Tribal Clinic

For more information call 360-384-0464.

Nooksack Tribal Clinic

For more information call 360-966-2106 or visit their website.

PeaceHealth Medical Group

For more information call 360-738-2200 or visit their website.

RiteAid - Lynden

Appointments for testing can be made online.

Sea Mar Community Health Centers

For more information call 360-671-3225 or visit their website.

Western Washington’s Student Health Center

For more information call 360-650-3400 or visit their website.

If you are a healthcare provider or provide laboratory services and would like your organization added to this website, please contact us at covid@co.whatcom.wa.us.

Drive-Through Testing Pilot Project 

On two Fridays and Saturdays, July 10,11,17, and 18, the Whatcom County Health Department in partnership with Whatcom Unified Command hosted a low-barrier drive-through COVID-19 testing site at Bellingham’s Civic Field Stadium parking lot. 

The testing site was a pilot project meant to inform county leaders on how to expand low-barrier testing availability within Whatcom County. The testing offered was cost-free to everyone who came through the site, with testing costs covered by either individuals’ insurance or a Health Resources and Services Administration program. Additional information about insurance coverage and testing costs are available on our FAQs page.

Anyone was able to get tested for COVID-19 at the drive-through site. The pilot site collected specimens from more than 1,800 people over the four days it operated: 793 people were tested on July 10 & 11, and 1,021 people were tested on July 17 & 18. Tests were processed by Northwest Laboratory and results were shared with individuals within 72 hours. During the reconciliation process there were 5 tests identified as rejected/lost; all of those individuals have been contacted for follow-up and their tests have been removed from our summary. 

You may view data tables summarizing the results here.