by Carolyn Bick
South Seattle will see a third free, walk-up novel coronavirus testing site at Rainier Beach High School, starting on Friday, Aug. 7.
Joined by Public Health – Seattle & King County Director Patty Hayes and Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins in a press conference on July 31, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the new testing site will replace the one that opened in April at the Atlantic City Boat Ramp.
The test will be free, neither citizenship nor insurance is required. While pre-registration also isn’t required, it is encouraged. The site will be open from 9:30 am. – 5 :30 p.m., and will be accessible for those with disabilities.
While the current site at the Atlantic City Boat Ramp only has the capacity for 100 tests per day, Scoggins said that he and other officials expect the new site to have a capacity of 800 tests per day.
There are two other sites in the city, located in Aurora and SODO. Hayes said the decision to locate this new testing site at Rainier Beach High School was based on data that shows Black and Latinx communities are the hardest-hit by the virus. There is also data showing that South King County is an emerging hotspot for the virus, where many of these hard-hit communities live.
However, unlike the other two testing sites, the website says that the Rainier Beach site will only be open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Hayes also said these sites are particularly important for contact tracing purposes, and for people who don’t have a regular healthcare provider.
“We work to accommodate everyone,” Hayes said, and urged everyone who is experiencing symptoms to stay home, except to go to a testing site. “The first few days of an infection is when you are most likely to spread it to others.”
Another testing site is expected to open in Southwest Seattle, but officials have not yet ironed out those details.
The Rainier Beach High School testing site begins testing services on Aug. 7. It will be located at 8815 Seward Park Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98118, and will be open from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Testing is free. Neither citizenship nor insurance is required. People wishing to be tested are encouraged to register here.
The SODO site is currently open from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat. It is located at 3820 6th Ave. South, Seattle WA 98108. You can register here.
The Aurora site is currently open from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat. It is located at 12040 Aurora Ave. N, Seattle WA 98133. You can register here.
Other Public Health – Seattle & King County testing sites may be found here.
Featured image by Carolyn Bick.