COVID-19 Testing

Page updated: May 19, 2022, 2:05 p.m.

Locations offering rapid antigen tests (results accepted for Canadian travel) are included on the list below.

Reminder: Do not go to the Emergency Room (ER) to receive a COVID-19 test or for mild symptoms. Whatcom County has one hospital, and its Emergency Department needs to keep its focus on serving those with urgent or life-threating injuries/illnesses that require critical care. Speak with your doctor regarding COVID-19 testing or mild symptoms. Testing locations can be found on this page.

Testing for people with COVID-19 symptoms or close contact

If you need a COVID-19 test because you are having symptoms or may have been in close contact with someone who's sick, get tested as soon as possible. You can make an appointment at our testing site in Bellingham at TestDirectly.com/whatcom or with any of the local testing providers

If you are symptomatic or if you've been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please call 360-778-6100, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (no voicemail). We'll help you schedule a same-day/next-day appointment if possible. You may also call Northwest Laboratory at 360-527-4592 for scheduling assistance Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

If you are unable to schedule a PCR test (lab test) or do not have a rapid, at-home test, please use this guidance: 

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, assume you have COVID-19, isolate for five days, and follow the latest isolation guidance
  • If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and you cannot get an appointment within 3-5 days of your exposure, quarantine for five days and follow the latest quarantine guidance.


Testing for travel, events, or other reason not related to symptoms or close contact

Travel Testing

If you need to make an appointment for a travel-related test in Whatcom County, you can:

The health department is unable to help schedule tests for travel to Canada or other destinations.

  • If you're a Canadian resident traveling to the U.S. and need a test to re-enter Canada, please get tested at your primary U.S. destination rather than waiting till you get to the border, to help ease the burden on Whatcom County testing sites.

Check your travel destination for what you need to know about testing because some locations have specific requirements about where and when you get tested. Travel requirements for Canada are here

Most insurance plans will not cover testing for the purposes of travel. Check with your insurance before you get tested for any travel-related testing to find out if they will cover the cost of the test. 

  • Northwest Laboratory, which operates the community testing site at the Bellingham International Airport, isn't able to bill insurance for travel-related testing. The cost is $180 for travel-related testing, with a 25% discount if payment is made at the time of service. Payments may be made with cash, credit card, or debit card.

Testing for medical procedures

If you need to be tested before surgery or another medical procedure, please schedule your test through your medical provider if possible.

Other testing purposes

For most workplaces, you do not need a negative test to return to work after having recovered from COVID-19. There are some exceptions such as schools, health care facilities and congregate living settings.

Other options: 


WCHD Community Testing Program 

We operate a drive-through community testing site located at Bellingham International Airport, Economy Lot B in Bellingham, WA. You must make an appointment to be tested at this site. 

Economy Lot B and driving route map

This site is accessible via Bennett Drive and Bakerview Road. Please do not take Airport Way to access this site. Watch for signs along the route indicated in the map above.

WCHD Testing Site Schedule

 
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Morning Hours

7 - 9 AM
7 - 9 AM
7 - 9 AM
7 - 9 AM
7 - 9 AM

Afternoon Hours
11 AM - 
1:45 PM
11 AM - 
1:45 PM
11 AM - 
1:45 PM
11 AM - 
1:45 PM
11 AM - 
1:45 PM
11 AM - 
1:45 PM
11 AM - 
1:45 PM
Evening Hours
3 - 6 PM
3 - 6 PM
3 - 6 PM
3 - 6 PM
3 - 6 PM
3 - 6 PM
3 - 6 PM

Register for an Appointment

For individuals with symptoms or exposure to confirmed cases only, you can make an appointment in two ways:

  • Online at TestDirectly.com. Use the TestDirectly How-To (PDF) for a user guide. (Also available in Spanish and Russian).
  • By phone at 360-778-6100: this number is only for individuals with symptoms or exposure to confirmed cases. Phone lines are open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (no voicemail). Interpretation services for languages other than English are available by phone. If you are symptomatic or a close contact, you may also call Northwest Laboratory at 360-527-4592 to schedule an appointment. Testing can be scheduled through Northwest Laboratory by phone  Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

The community testing site at the airport no longer has funding to test uninsured patients for free:

  • If you have insurance, you must provide insurance information for billing purposes when you schedule an appointment. People with insurance may be held responsible for the cost of a COVID-19 test if they do not provide their existing health insurance information.
    • Most insurance plans will not cover testing for the purposes of travel. Check with your insurance before you get tested for any travel-related testing to find out if they will cover the cost of the test.
  • If you don't have insurance, you must pay for your test. Please call your COVID-19 testing location to get pricing information. Some locations may post their pricing online.

Access Test Results  

Results from our testing site are usually available within 48-72 hours.

If you provide an email address, you will receive an email from Test Directly informing you as soon as your results are ready from Northwest Laboratory. The email will explain how to get your results. 

If you have provide a cell phone number, you will receive a text message informing you as soon as your results are ready from Northwest Laboratory. The text message will explain how to access your results.

If you do not provide contact information when registering, you can check your results at https://www.testdirectly.com/patient/report. Insert your unique order ID, access key, and date of birth to download the report. 

Additional Whatcom County Testing Locations

Reminder: don’t go to the ER just for a COVID-19 test or mild symptoms. We have only one hospital in Whatcom County, and its emergency department needs to keep its focus on serving those with urgent or life-threatening injuries/illnesses that require critical care.

Many health care providers in Whatcom County offer testing, including rapid antigen tests suitable for crossing the Canadian border. The table below is updated weekly with information about which providers currently test for COVID-19 and who have agreed to be on our list. Information is subject to change. 

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 Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Visit their website for more information.

Clinic/FacilityWho Can Get Tested Here?Do I need an Appointment?Phone & WebsiteAdditional Information
Any Lab Test Now 

(1225 E. Sunset Dr, suite 155, Bellingham)
Anyone (insurance not accepted, self pay only)Walk-ins welcome 
(Monday - Friday 9.a.m - 5 p.m.)

Appointments can be scheduled.
360-684-1800Performs PCR tests suitable for travel. Cost: $189 per test.
ARCpoint Labs

(4220 Meridian St, Suite 101A, Bellingham)
Anyone (Medicare/Medicaid not accepted).Call-in or online registration is preferred.360-922-0275
Website
Performs PCR tests suitable for travel. 

PCR same day (depending on inventory), 2 hour (depending on inventory), or 24-36 hour result options.

Performs rapid antigen tests suitable for travel. Results accepted for Canadian travel. Cost: $75 per test.

Pay upfront testing. (Pricing varies based on timing required).
Care Medical GroupAnyone (insurances accepted)No, walk-ins only. Drive up testing available (call for more information). 360-734-4300 ext. 6
Website
COVID-19 testing has parking lot registration with testing performed in a designated area with no exposure to non-COVID-19 patients. 
Family Care Network

(Bellingham, Lynden Locations)
Established FNC patients should call their provider.

Non-FCN patients can access urgent care on-demand telemedicine visits.
Yes
Bellingham urgent care
360-671-4509

Lynden Urgent Care 
360-354-4567

Main Website
Call ahead to describe symptoms or use FCN's on-demand
telemedicine service

If FCN orders a COVID-19 test, you may be referred to the NW Labs Drive-through for testing.
Ferndale Pharmacy

(2057 Alder St, Ferndale)
Anyone (insurance not accepted, self pay testing). 
Yes, schedule online only.360-325-4310
Website
Performs PCR testing Cost: $175 per test. Results ready in 45 minutes.

Performs Rapid antigen testing suitable for travel.. Results accepted for Canadian travel. Cost: $60 per test.
Hoagland Pharmacy

(2330 Yew St, Bellingham)
Anyone (insurance not accepted, self pay testing).Yes, schedule online only.WebsitePerforms PCR Testing. Cost: $160 per test.
Lummi Tribal Health CenterNative Americans residing in Whatcom CountyYes. Same day appointment available.360-383-8251
Website

MD Spa & Wellness

(Birch Bay and Fairhaven locations)
Anyone (no insurance accepted, self pay testing).Yes, online scheduling preferred.360-474-3535
Website
Performs rapid antigen testing suitable for travel. Results accepted for Canadian travel. Cost: $49 per test or free with purchase of a treatment from MD Spa & Wellness.
Nooksack Health CenterNooksack Indian Tribe and eligible members of federally recognized Tribes.Yes, same day appointments available.360-966-2106
Website
Providers may order test as part of a patient's regular clinic visit.
Nooksack Valley Drug

(208 E. Main St, Everson)
Anyone (no insurance accepted, self pay testing).Yes, schedule online only.

Antigen scheduling

PCR scheduling
360-966-3481
Website
Performs rapid PCR tests. Cost: $161 per test.

Performs rapid antigen tests suitable for travel. Results accepted for Canadian travel. Costs: see website for cost and eligibility information.

Free tests are available for people with symptoms, exposure or required testing for medical procedures.
Northwest Laboratory (NW Labs)
Anyone with a referral for COVID-19 testing from their healthcare provider.Yes, can schedule online or by phone.360-527-4592
Website
Testing can be scheduled by phone Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday 8:00 a.m. -4:30 p.m.
Rite Aid
Ages 4+Yes, online scheduling only.Website
COVID-19 testing is only offered at drive-through locations: Blaine, Lynden, Ferndale and Bellingham (Telegraph and Northwest locations only). 
RX Mart Pharmacy  
Anyone (no insurance accepted, self pay testing)
Yes, Online scheduling preferred.
360-933-1401
Website
Performs rapid antigen testing suitable for travel. Results accepted for Canadian travel. Cost: $60 per test
Sea Mar Community Health Center

(Bellingham and Everson locations)
Established Sea Mar patientsYes. Established Sea Mar patients should call their provider to schedule an appointment.Bellingham 
360-671-3225 
Website

Everson 
360-354-0766 Website

Sumas Drug

(1143 Cherry St, Sumas)
Anyone (no insurance accepted, self pay testing)Yes, online scheduling only (Contact pharmacy if scheduling assistance required).360-988-2681
Website
Performs PCR testing. Receipt provided for submitting to insurance for billing. Cost: $175 per test. 

Performs curbside rapid antigen testing suitable for travel. Results accepted for Canadian travel. Cost: $60 per test.
Unity Care NW

(Bellingham and Ferndale locations)
Unity Care patients.Yes, same day appointments available. Call to schedule an appointment.360-676-6177
Website

Toll Free
877-235-6850
Providers may refer patients to NW Labs drive-through for testing or recommend testdirectly.com

Travel testing not available.
Walgreens 

(Bellingham (Meridian, Samish and Sunset) and Ferndale locations)
Ages 3+
Yes, online registration only.
Website
Performs PCR tests. 

Performs rapid tests. 

See website for testing details. 

All locations offer drive-through testing.
Whatcom County Health Department

(Bellingham International Airport, Economy Lot B)
Anyone.Yes, rescheduling is required by phone or online360-779-6100Performs PCR testing only.

Self pay for uninsured. 
WWU Student Health CenterWWU Students.Maybe. WWU students experiencing symptoms or have a known exposure should call the Student Health Center during business hours and ask to speak with a nurse. Students can also send a secure message via MyWesternHealth.360-650-3400
Website
Provider may refer patients to NW Labs drive-through for testing. 

RX Mart Pharmacy  

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.

How to get tested

If you have health insurance and a healthcare provider:

  • Your healthcare provider can give you a referral to be tested. 

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. 
  • Contact one of the testing locations listed above to schedule an appointment, or walk-in if they accept walk-in appointments.

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

  • Visit our FAQs page for information about how to sign up for health insurance.

Rapid, at-home testing kits

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order two sets of four free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. Order here: covidtests.gov or call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489). 

In addition, Washington state residents can order up to two sets of five free at-home tests per month. Tests are completely free. Orders will usually arrive within 1-2 weeks. The free test kits are available for a limited time, while supplies last. Order here: https://sayyescovidhometest.org or call 1-800-525-0127.

Buying a test from a pharmacy? If you have health insurance, most insurers will now reimburse you for up to 8 at-⁠home tests per month, for each person on your plan.

As testing demand increases, many people with symptoms of COVID-19 are using at-home tests that are available over-the-counter. Most at-home tests are antigen tests, which are inexpensive and produce results within minutes.

Rapid, at-home antigen tests may not detect very small amounts of virus in your sample. They provide the best results when used while you're experiencing symptoms or about five (5) days after you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. If you choose to use an at-home COVID-19 test, make sure to carefully follow the instructions on the test kit.  

  • If your test is negative: 
    • In some circumstances you may need a laboratory-based test, such as a PCR test, to confirm your negative result. If this is the case, you should isolate yourself away from others until you get the result from your laboratory-based test.
    • Get a confirming PCR (lab-based) test if:
      • You have symptoms of COVID-19.
      • You think or know you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, especially if you aren't fully vaccinated, or haven't had COVID-19 in the last 3 months.
  • If your test is positive: 
    • Isolate yourself away from others. That means you should stay at home and separate yourself from anyone you live with, ideally in a separate room.  
    • Report positive test results. People who test positive should call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1–800–525–0127. Alternatively, they can fill out this online form, which helps us to track the spread of disease in the community.

    • Tell your close contacts that they have been exposed to COVID-19. A close contact is anyone who’s been within 6 feet of you for 15 minutes or longer. By letting your close contacts know they have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping protect your community by helping limit the spread of the virus.

What You Need To Know About At-Home COVID-19 Tests (PDF)

Qué necesita saber sobre el kit de prueba casera de COVID-19 (PDF)

Что следует знать о домашних экспресс-тестах на коронавирус (PDF)


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. 

What if I'm vaccinated?

Even if you’re fully vaccinated, get tested right away if you have COVID-19 symptoms. A small percentage of vaccinated people have gotten COVID-19. In addition to testing, isolate yourself from others immediately if you experience symptoms, even if you’re fully vaccinated. If you have COVID-19, you can spread COVID-19, whether or not you’ve been vaccinated. 

If you’ve been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, and you’re fully vaccinated and don’t have any symptoms, you do not need to quarantine, get tested, or stay home from work. You should still wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask around others and monitor for symptoms for 10 days after exposure, and seek testing right away if symptoms develop. 

These rules do not apply in health care, correctional facilities or or homeless shelters. For more information on COVID-19 testing guidance for the fully vaccinated, refer to the CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations of Fully Vaccinated People


Testing Costs

Most people will not be charged for COVID-19 testing that isn't travel-related. Health plans regulated by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner must cover testing and related visits. You can check with your health insurance plan to see about out-of-pocket payments associated with COVID-19.  Additional information on insurance coverage and testing costs are available on our FAQs page.

  • If you are uninsured and trying to get a test at the community testing site, there is no longer federal funding to cover your test. You will need to pay for the test. Please call your COVID-19 testing location to get pricing information. Some locations may post their pricing online.