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Additional free COVID-19 testing sites launch throughout King County

Summary

Additional free COVID-19 testing sites are opening in Seattle and other local cities. Public Health – Seattle & King County urges anyone with mild COVID-19 symptoms or who has been in close contact with someone ill with COVID-19 to contact a healthcare provider to discuss testing. Also, King County was approved for modified phase one of reopening.

Story

Anyone with even mild COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been in close contact with someone ill with COVID-19, should contact a healthcare provider to discuss the need for testing. Most healthcare providers can test their patients rapidly. But for anyone facing any barriers to getting tested, Public Health – Seattle & King County is working with local partners to open additional free COVID-19 testing sites in King County.

More than 15 sites will be open by early next week, including new sites in Auburn and Seattle. All of the free sites are listed in a document available through the Public Health testing website.

Most people can access testing through their regular health care provider. However, if you are unable to access testing through your health care provider, please seek testing at one of these free sites. If you do not have symptoms, or have not been in contact with someone with COVID-19, you do not need to be tested.

Don't wait to test if you have symptoms: Early in the crisis, COVID-19 testing was limited. COVID-19 testing is now widely available in King County and Public Health's testing guidance has changed accordingly, in alignment with Washington State Department of Health.

Public Health urges anyone with any of the following symptoms to contact a health care provider or testing site right away: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. Furthermore, if you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should also be tested.

It is important not to wait to be tested. If you have COVID-19, you are contagious. A COVID-19 test will let you know if you are infected so you can protect your family, friends and community by keeping yourself away from others.

A lot of us aren't in the habit of calling the doctor when we have a cough or mild symptoms. The situation is different with COVID-19 because most people remain susceptible to infection and we need to prevent this new virus from spreading further,” said Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health – Seattle & King County.

If you develop a new cough or other COVID-19 symptoms, or if you've been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, please get tested right away. Contact your health care provider or use one of the free testing sites that are widely available. We're relying on you to help slow the spread of disease to your family, friends and community."

Seattle testing sites: Public Health is supporting the City of Seattle and UW Medicine to launch two new free drive-through COVID-19 testing sites. These two sites are anticipated to increase testing capacity by more than 1,600 tests per day.

The facilities are located in north and south Seattle and will operate Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and accommodate drive-through clients who book ahead through the website. Tests will be administered by the Seattle Fire Department. UW Medicine will process the tests and return results to those tested.

No charge for testing: Under state and federal law, all COVID-19 testing should be free for anyone. Under Washington law, insurance companies cannot charge co-pays for COVID-19 testing.

Clients at the testing facilities will not be charged for testing and should not receive a bill, regardless of health insurance status. At the Seattle sites, for insured clients, UW Medicine will bill the client's private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. For uninsured clients, UW Medicine will seek reimbursement directly from the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act Relief Fund.

King County offers safe, clean and comfortable places to stay for anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or who has symptoms of COVID-19 and cannot safely isolate from the people they live with. More information is available on this Isolation & Quarantine Infographic, which is also available in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Somali, Marshallese, Swahili, Samoan, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

More information about testing

King County to immediately allow limited openings of businesses and activities

Thanks to community working together, we are slowing the spread of COVID-19 and are working to gradually and carefully reopen the local economy. Today, the Washington State Department of Health approved King County for a modified Phase 1 of the Governor's Safe Start reopening plan.

As people come together more, it is more important than ever to maintain the safety principles that led to our success against the outbreak. COVID-19 is still spreading in King County and we need to continue to decrease the numbers in order to be eligible for Phase 2, which allows for more activities to open.

To prevent an increase in cases, we all need to continue to stay at least six feet away from others, minimize contact with people outside the home, wash hands frequently, wear cloth face coverings in public, and avoid group gatherings and poorly ventilated spaces.

Case updates

Daily totals for new COVID-19 cases and deaths are available on Public Health's Data Dashboard webpage, which updates as soon as data are available, typically between 1-3 p.m.

Isolation and quarantine facilities update

Eighty-seven people are currently staying in King County isolation and quarantine facilities. This number includes crew members admitted on Sunday from an American Seafoods fishing boat that returned to its home port in Seattle with a number of cases of COVID-19. For more information, contact American Seafoods.

Additional information

  • Information about COVID-19 and the response in King County, be sure to check our webpage: www.kingcounty.gov/covid
  • Public Health publishes new information frequently through the Public Health Insider blog – please consider becoming a subscriber by choosing the option to "Follow Blog Via Email."