Burlington, WA — Like many workers around the globe, Port of Skagit staff are working remotely to ensure that operations continue as close to normal as possible. But just because it’s quiet at the Port doesn’t mean it’s not bustling with activity.

Skagit Regional Airport remains open to air traffic, as an important transportation asset to the local and regional community. Skagit Regional Airport is used by several different emergency medical flight services so keeping the airport open is increasingly important during public health crises.

Similar to Chinook Enterprises, Eddyline Kayaks and others in our community, some manufacturing tenants at the Port are also pivoting away from their normal production lines and shifting their efforts to producing much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to meet the increased demand for such items.

One of those tenants is Design Techniques, a manufacturer of boat covers and enclosures located at the La Conner Marina. Scott Weatherly and his father Dave wanted to find a way to help, so they signed up on the volunteer resource list with Island Hospital. After sharing a few face mask prototypes with a volunteer coordinator with the hospital, they are now cutting materials and creating more templates to help with the increased demand. “We’re just trying to help, with some additional time put towards it each day,” Weatherly explained. “But until they tell me there is a vaccine, we’re ready to keep helping as much as we can.”

In hard-hit Snohomish County, Port of Skagit Commissioner Dr. Kevin Ware is also answering the call to help by volunteering at a Public Health testing site obtaining lab samples from symptomatic patients. He has been a part of the Snohomish County Emergency Medical Response team for 20 years.

“I think that if we all work together on this COVID-19 problem, the outcome will not be anywhere near as bad as some have predicted,” Dr. Ware said. “Toward that end, the Port of Skagit is making sure we keep the airport open as it may be required for emergency purposes. The Port administrative office staff are all working from home on several projects which will add a lot of new jobs for the community after this crisis has passed. We anticipate the Port will be back to its normal function by the middle of June.”

As part of keeping operations up and running, the Port of Skagit Commission will conduct its regular commission meeting on Tuesday, April 14 at 2pm via Zoom teleconferencing. As always, the public is welcome to attend the meeting. For details on how to join the meeting, please email Debbie@portofskagit.com