Topic: Health & Wellness

COVID-19 Crisis Increases Gratitude for Greenspace and Highlights Need to Leash Dogs

Written on April 10, 2020 at 9:33 am, by

Land Bank Preserves remain open despite other public land closures because we believe people need access to nature close to home, especially when nothing else in life seems normal. Early evidence suggests that dogs don’t spread COVID-19. However, current social distancing rules apply to both people and their pets. To that end, we want to  Continue Reading

HOT TOPIC #14: April 9th A Light-Hearted Look at Caring for your Introvert/Extrovert Significant Other While Staying Home

Written on April 10, 2020 at 9:19 am, by

COVID-19 updates from San Juan County around subjects on the minds of islanders Disclaimer: Authors Courtney and Nathan Kessler-Jeffrey are in no way relationship experts. They are not therapists. They have BEEN to a lot of therapy. (They find it’s an essential part of maintaining a healthy relationship. You’ll probably understand why when you finish  Continue Reading

Announcing “COVID-19 Community Conversations” for San Juan County

Written on April 9, 2020 at 7:45 am, by

During the COVID-19 crisis the San Juan County COVID Response Team have made a real effort to keep the public informed through our website (, via local media, through Facebook (@sjcpublichealth), Twitter (@SanJuanCountyWA), through several video updates, and in both Spanish and English, in a unified effort to speak with one voice to as many  Continue Reading

Working Washington Small Business Grants

Written on April 9, 2020 at 7:37 am, by

The Washington State Department of Commerce is offering a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant (WWSBEG) program to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses which qualify for the grant program and are located within San Juan County must go to the Commerce site at, download the application, fill it out  Continue Reading

Also, Grief

Written on April 9, 2020 at 5:45 am, by

Deb Langhans shares some thoughts with you on grief… Last April 3rd, the San Juan Update posted an “invitation” for me about an online “ITM (In This Moment) Circle” I hope to start soon as another way fellow islanders can “come together” and co-create a “glass half full” virtual gathering each week during this COVID-19  Continue Reading

How’s THIS for Island Commitment to Keeping Germs Contained?!

Written on April 8, 2020 at 12:33 pm, by

The following notice was submitted by a San Juan Update reader who wishes to remain anonymous… KUDOS to (symptom-free) Sheilah Mezzo who created the mask for this rooster and is making more for any interested islanders. Her contact number is: (541) 575-5612. The masks are quality cotton with a layer of tighter-weave flannel next to  Continue Reading

Best of the Fest Cancelled

Written on April 8, 2020 at 12:30 pm, by

Due to the closure of all but essential businesses the Friday Harbor Film Festival has cancelled the Best of the Fest series for the remainder of the year.

HOT TOPIC #13: April 7th Checking In On Our Current Situation

Written on April 8, 2020 at 8:09 am, by

COVID-19 updates from San Juan County around subjects on the minds of islanders We want to check in with the islands, share thoughts, and help with general expectation setting. Obviously this has been an incredibly challenging time, and clearly there’s more sacrifice to come. What is the current situation? There is some good news. If  Continue Reading

A Note from Friday Harbor Drug

Written on April 7, 2020 at 2:21 pm, by

Friends and neighbors, the hours here at the pharmacy will be changing effective Wednesday, April 8th. The pharmacy hours will be: Monday – 9:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday- 9:00am to 5:00pm Wednesday – 9:00am to 5:00pm Thursday – 9:00am to 5:00pm Friday – 9:00am to 5:00pm Saturday – 10:00am to 5:00pm Sunday- CLOSED This is in  Continue Reading

Island Rec Programs Cancelled

Written on April 7, 2020 at 2:21 pm, by

An update from the San Juan Island Park and Recreation District board of commissioners: All Island Rec in-person programs for April and May remain cancelled in order to prevent community spread of COVID-19. Have you tried one of our adult fitness LIVE Zoom classes with Jacquelyn Reiff or Katerina Wen? It is a great way  Continue Reading

Hospital District Meeting

Written on April 6, 2020 at 3:04 pm, by

San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 will be having a Special Board Meeting on April 8, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. This meeting will be entirely remote, in accordance with the governor’s emergency proclamation and revised Open Public Meetings Act guidelines (explanation by MRSC here). This meeting is intended to fill in for our  Continue Reading

BLM Spokane District temporarily closes additional recreation sites

Written on April 6, 2020 at 3:01 pm, by

Spokane, Wash. – The health and safety of our visitors and staff remains the first priority of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our local partners and the state of Washington, the BLM is temporarily closing the following recreation sites, effective today, to help limit  Continue Reading

Delivering soon?  PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center and Island Hospital Childbirth Centers offer assurance  

Written on April 6, 2020 at 2:58 pm, by

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash., April 6, 2020–To ensure a safe delivery and provide mothers and their families with the best birth experience possible, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Childbirth Center in Bellingham and the Birth Center at Island Hospital in Anacortes are balancing new visitor restrictions and social distancing in the wake of COVID-19. Both childbirth  Continue Reading

New Public Health Recommendation to Cover the Face

Written on April 6, 2020 at 5:48 am, by

Following a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revision to public health guidelines, San Juan County health officials recommend islanders cover their nose and mouth when leaving home for essential travel allowed under the Governor’s extended order. The face coverings do not have to be hospital grade but need to cover the nose  Continue Reading

Several New Positive Test Results Reported in San Juan County

Written on April 5, 2020 at 9:06 am, by

April 4, 2020: San Juan County Health and Community Services staff have been notified of four new positive COVID-19 test results in San Juan County, including one on San Juan Island and three on Orcas Island. This brings the total number of cases in San Juan County to ten. The County data reporting page will  Continue Reading

HOT TOPIC #12: April 3rd What If Empathy Went Viral

Written on April 4, 2020 at 5:50 am, by

COVID-19 updates from San Juan County around subjects on the minds of islanders Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve had friends sick. Some were able to get tested, others not so much. All of them felt the burden, like a weight on the chest, of having a potentially life-threatening illness, and the fear that  Continue Reading

San Juan County Leaders URGE Residents to Restrict Off-Island Travel and Follow Strict Health Guidelines Upon Returning

Written on April 3, 2020 at 8:13 am, by

As Washington State approaches the anticipated peak of COVID-19 medical surge cases, San Juan County urges everyone to take more aggressive precautions to protect their families and neighbors when coming to the islands from the mainland. “As cases multiply throughout the state, including Skagit, Island, and Whatcom Counties, islanders traveling back to the islands from  Continue Reading

Deb Langhans Offers A Special Invitation…

Written on April 3, 2020 at 5:49 am, by

Deb has added a quick addendum to this announcement… Hello again, Islanders! Due to current “Zoombombing” & possibly still unresolved privacy issues during Zoom meetings, I’ve decided to keep researching online options for the “ITM Circle” I proposed in the posting (below), I’m hoping those interested in the Circle will still contact me so I  Continue Reading

HOT TOPIC #11: April 1st An Interview with SJC Patient #4

Written on April 3, 2020 at 5:46 am, by

COVID-19 updates from San Juan County around subjects on the minds of islanders We had the opportunity to talk with the fourth San Juan County resident who tested positive and is currently recovering at home from COVID-19. The patient has worked as a firefighter/ EMT for 25 years and has called San Juan Island home  Continue Reading

Boo Boo is Offering Free Online Fitness Workout Classes

Written on April 2, 2020 at 11:50 am, by

Tanja Williamson sums it up like this: Hey there, I’m helping everyone’s favorite boxer keep islanders entertained AND healthy so they’ll be able to fit into their pre-pandemic clothes. If you haven’t already downloaded zoom, DO IT! The workouts are only 30 minutes and even if you don’t do every move, you’ll definitely work your  Continue Reading

PeaceHealth Medical Group Clinic in Friday Harbor to offer their patients mobile COVID-19 testing

Written on April 2, 2020 at 11:38 am, by

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash., April 2, 2020–To minimize face-to-face contact and ensure the safety of our patients, caregivers, and community members, PeaceHealth Medical Group in Friday Harbor will offer mobile COVID-19 testing for PeaceHealth Medical Group patients beginning Friday, April 3, 2020. Testing will be offered as ordered by the patient’s provider in the northeast corner  Continue Reading

Take a Walk at the Sculpture Park!

Written on April 2, 2020 at 5:49 am, by

We’re all getting cabin fever these days, and going outside to explore our beautiful island can bring a smile to your face, and perhaps help bolster your immune system at the same time. Our sculpture park on Roche Harbor Road is a perfect place to take a walk. There are enough paths in the 20-acre  Continue Reading