Fire district ups Covid-19 testing

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The local fire department is anticipating testing 100 people a week for Covid-19 as residents and visitors try and navigate changing rules to get back and forth across the border.

“They are mostly Canadian property owners who fly in and then need the test to get back to Canada,” said fire chief Christopher Carleton. “We also have some local residents looking to reestablish a relationship with a doctor or dentist in Canada.”

The fire department is offering walk-in or drive-up testing Sundays and Wednesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. in anticipation of increased demand after the Canadian government announced the border would open Monday, August 9 to non-essential travel for individuals who are fully vaccinated and have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours. Results for the tests given by the fire department are available within 24 to 30 hours, Carleton said.

The cost of tests in cash is $135 through Northwest Labs with some local testing costs. Some insurers are denying payment for tests if there are no symptoms or exposure, Carleton said. He added that he is working on potential scenarios to reduce testing costs given the volume the local testing site is about to be seeing.

The next vaccination clinic at the fire station on Benson Road will be Sunday, August 8 for first or second doses of the Pfizer vaccination. Call 360/945-FIRE for further information.

Canadian property owners planning to come to the Point to take care of and enjoy their vacation homes after 17 months are also looking to local company Bidby Importers to bring down their vehicles while they fly in due to the continued closure of the U.S. land border.

“We’ve brought about half a dozen so far, but there have been a lot of people inquiring recently,” said co-owner Whitney McElroy.

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