Local News

Clatsop County Health Dept changes COVID testing to appointment only as demand rises

In response to the new surge in coronavirus infections, demand for COVID-19 testing is outstripping the capacity of local health providers.

As a result, the Clatsop County Public Health Department will provide testing to the public by appointment only beginning this coming Wednesday, Aug. 18.

The change is necessary to allow Public Health to focus its resources on case investigation, including contact tracing, outbreak management and vaccination, which are the department’s highest priorities.

Public Health will end its testing service at its Astoria office, as well as the drive-thru testing at the Household Hazardous Waste facility, and will instead offer appointment-only tests Wednesdays and Fridays in Seaside and Astoria beginning Aug. 18.

For information on scheduling an appointment, call (503) 325-8500.

Testing supplies are limited. As a result, slots for testing from Public Health may not be available for everyone who seeks an appointment.

We are approaching a situation where certain types of testing may be prioritized to high-risk exposures and the most vulnerable,” Public Health Director Margo Lalich said.

Public health continues to remind people that vaccination remains the most effective strategy to reduce severity of illness when infected, while masking is the most effective barrier to minimize transmission between people when indoors or unable to socially distance.

Vaccines are available from Public Health and a variety of other providers. Go to the Clatsop County website for more information.