Two additional testing sites for COVID-19 are coming to Auburn and Renton.
The announcement, from King County Executive Dow Constantine and Public Health – Seattle King County, is part of an effort to make testing easier and allow for more folks to get tested earlier — whether they are experiencing symptoms or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive.
“One of the ways in which we can battle against increasing risks (this fall) is by making sure we are getting tested,” Constantine said at the Aug. 31 media briefing.
Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority and Valley Regional Fire Authority will be operating the Auburn location. HealthPoint will be operating the site in Renton.
VRFA Chief Brent Swearingen said firefighters from all over South King County will be at the Auburn site to staff it as needed. There’s been “phenomenal” work done to convert a parking lot into a place where first responders can conduct thousands of tests, he said.
“It’s critical to us that these sites run smoothly,” Swearingen said.
The sites will add capacity for up to 1,500 tests per day, and are modeled after the city of Seattle’s high-volume, drive-thru testing sites, Director of Public Health Patty Hayes said.
Hayes said testing has doubled since June and closing the gap for testing access has been a top priority, especially as those living in South King County and communities of color have been disproportionately impacted.
Residents needing to be tested are encouraged to go, even if they do not have insurance. Hayes said these sites will not turn people away and folks will not be charged.
After residents are tested, they should isolate until receiving the results. Hayes said the county partners with local testing labs, including University of Washington Medicine, to ensure fast results. Although King County remains below the desired metric for testing and speed of testing, Hayes said they are doing better than many parts of the country.
“Widespread testing is a key part in containing the spread of COVID,” Hayes said. “Even setting up a new testing site is an amazing process to do.”
Constantine thanked the Auburn and Renton mayors and city staffs for helping determine the best locations for high-volume testing sites.
The testing site at 2701 C St. SW in Auburn opens Sept. 1 and will be operating 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
The site at 805 SW 10th Ave. in Renton will open on Sept. 8. and operate 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
More information is available at Public Health’s testing location website here.