Skagit County leadership is looking to improve its COVID-19 testing efforts as case numbers continue to climb.

Thirteen additional cases were reported Wednesday, bringing the county’s total to 904.

Jennifer Johnson, director of county Public Health, said the county is looking to expand access with mobile testing on evenings or weekends.

“For some folks, testing Monday to Friday during normal business hours is difficult,” she said at a Wednesday meeting of the county Board of Health.

Since the county opened its drive-through testing site April 21, it has administered 19,617 COVID-19 tests. Johnson said the county has permission from Skagit Valley College to keep the site active in its parking lot through December.

County Health Officer Howard Leibrand addressed concerns with outdoor gatherings.

“It is safer to be outside than inside, but (outside groups) are still potential sources of spreading the virus,” he said.

Even outside, people need to wear masks and maintain 6 feet of distance. And as always, he said staying home is safest, and non-essential travel should be avoided.

“(People) really need to think about whether what they’re doing is essential,” he said.

Skagit County is nowhere near meeting goals for moving to Phase 3 of reopening, laid out in Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan.

As of Aug. 10, the county is reporting 107.6 cases per 100,000 residents over the previous 14 days, Johnson said. The goal is 25 per 100,000.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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