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As cases surge, first free high-volume COVID-19 test site comes to King County’s Eastside

Summary

A new free COVID-19 test site will open at Bellevue College on Tuesday, December 15. This site will expand COVID-19 testing on the Eastside and complement existing free test sites already in operation in Renton, Auburn, Tukwila, Federal Way, Des Moines, and Enumclaw.

Story

Expansion of testing into the Eastside of King County

Starting this week, there will be a new option for convenient, free COVID-19 testing on the Eastside. A new site at Bellevue College will open on Tuesday, expanding efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in east King County and along the I-90 corridor. This will be the first free, high-capacity COVID-19 test site on the Eastside. This site will be free and open to anyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status.

If you have COVID-like symptoms or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19, Public Health – Seattle & King County urges you to avoid contact with others and get tested immediately. Stay home and away from others while you are waiting for test results.

The new test site is located at Bellevue College, 2645 145th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007. The entrance is on 148th Ave SE. Drive-thru and limited walk-up testing is available. The test site is available via the 221, 226, 245, and 271 bus lines.

The test site will be open Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., beginning Tuesday, December 15. People are strongly encouraged, but not required, to register for a testing appointment. Visit www.ichs.com/free-covid-19-testing for scheduling and registration. Visit www.kingcounty.gov/covid/sites to see information on all free test sites, including Bellevue College.

The test site will be operated by International Community Health Services (ICHS) and hosted by Bellevue College, with support from King County and the City of Bellevue.


Increasing resources to diverse language communities

The Eastside is home to a number of different language communities -- 13.3% of households in Bellevue are limited English speaking, compared to 6% of households overall in King County from 2014-2018 (for more information, visit our COVID-19 Vulnerable Communities Data Tool). ICHS regularly provides free on-site and remote interpretation in over 50 languages and dialects at their clinics, making them well-positioned to operate this testing site.


Support for isolation and quarantine

Anyone who tests positive should isolate immediately. For those without a safe place to do so, King County isolation and quarantine sites are available to help people through a difficult situation and reduce risk of transmission. This is especially important for those living with a family member who is elderly or medically fragile, or people experiencing homelessness. Call the King County COVID-19 Call Center (206) 477-3977 to see if isolation and quarantine services are right for you.

If you need help with registration, call the King County COVID-19 Call Center (open seven days a week, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.), at (206) 477-3977.


Additional resources


Quotes:

King County

I thank International Community Health Services and Bellevue College for their assistance in setting up this new testing site on the Eastside. This holiday season, the greatest gift we can give our friends and loved ones – and ourselves – is good health and peace of mind. We must remain vigilant to bring this virus under control, and bring our community and economy back stronger than ever."

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

International Community Health Services

We are so pleased to work with Public Health – Seattle & King County, Bellevue College and the City of Bellevue to open this large-scale testing site serving the Eastside and its diverse community members. Expanded testing is to the benefit of all Eastside residents during this critical stage of the pandemic. ICHS multilingual staff and providers will play an important role in making sure no one is left behind because of language or culture – and all of our friends, neighbors and family members are connected to much-needed healthcare and testing."

Teresita Batayola, CEO, International Community Health Services (ICHS)

Bellevue College

As cases continue to spike in our state and all across America, expanding access to COVID-19 testing is critical to ensuring the health of our diverse community. We're proud to partner with Public Health – Seattle & King County to be their first testing site on the Eastside. And we can’t forget to thank all our healthcare workers on the front lines for their heroic efforts."

Gary Locke, Interim President, Bellevue College

City of Bellevue

The new, free test site at Bellevue College will be a valuable resource for our diverse community, especially as we work together to minimize and ultimately overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank Public Health – Seattle & King County, Bellevue College and operator ICHS for their partnership and for making this test site a reality. It is also critical that Bellevue residents continue to follow Public Health’s guidance; wear a mask, stay home when you can, avoid indoor gatherings, and quarantine and get tested if you feel sick."

Lynne Robinson, Mayor, City of Bellevue

Public Health

We are grateful for our partners at Bellevue College and International Community Health Services (ICHS) for expanding access to testing that will help serve communities on the Eastside and along the I-90 corridor. It’s strong partnerships from community providers like ICHS that make these sites possible. ICHS has a long history of providing culturally relevant care and this expertise will be extremely valuable for the diverse language communities we hope will access this site."

Patty Hayes, Director, Public Health – Seattle & King County