Winter weather and vaccinations: Snohomish County sites to remain open unless conditions change

Wtih snow in the forecast, the Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce said Wednesday it plans to keep the county’s mass COVID-19 vaccination sites open. But it is closely monitoring the winter weather and those plans could change.

“The latest update indicates that we can expect freezing temperatures, some windy conditions, and chance of snow, though it appears the greatest accumulation is likely to be south of Snohomish County as the weather system moves in Thursday and Friday,” the task force said in a media release. “The taskforce is making every effort to minimize disruption to vaccinations, but must prioritize the safety of patients, staff and volunteers at the sites.”

All five of the county’s community-based COVID testing sites will be closed Thursday through Sunday. People with appointments have been notified and encouraged to seek testing through their health care provider or to schedule another appointment for next week.

The vaccine taskforce is continuing to update contingency plans around the upcoming weather systems as more information is available. Staff plan to be on site at all of our mass vaccination locations early morning starting Thursday to assess and report conditions.

The taskforce includes representatives from public works, emergency management, public safety and transportation agencies, who are helping ensure contracts and plans are in place for plowing and clearing roads and parking lots, as well as sanding for ice. They also are looking at the access points for all of the sites to see if there are options to improve weather-related safety, such as shifting entry or exit points or otherwise redirecting traffic flow.

If site closures are needed, the taskforce plans to get that information out by 7 a.m. the day of the closure via the internet, social media, and the call center team. If you have a scheduled appointment at one of the sites Thursday, Friday or Saturday, check your email and phone messages before you leave for the appointment. If your appointment is canceled or modified due to weather, you will receive an email or message with details on rescheduling your vaccination. If the sites are open and operating but patients need to cancel their appointments, they can reschedule when the next round of appointments are available.

The taskforce also said Wednesday it is now able to provide general timing for when appointments are likely to be posted as well as when sites are open, if they have doses. Appointments for the Edmonds College and Everett sites, when doses are available, typically open for a week at a time, posting over the weekend or early in the week (Monday or Tuesday). Appointments for the Arlington and Monroe sites, when doses are available, typically open for one or two days at a time, posting around 2 p.m. Note that exact timing for opening appointments is still likely to vary based on vaccine availability. Visit http://bit.ly/snocovaccine to get directly to the page with the registration links.

For those who do not have internet access or are otherwise unable to register online, the COVID-19 call center for Snohomish County is available at 425-339-5278. The call center can help answer questions and, if appointments are available, register people. However, call center staff cannot modify, verify or cancel an existing vaccination appointment.

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