CORONAVIRUS TESTING: Two updates on when and how to get it

We start today with two notes about COVID-19 testing. First: Public-health authorities say it’s increasingly available, and urge people to get it ASAP if they start showing symptoms. That info is here. Meantime, people who need testing may be eligible for a drive-through event happening today and tomorrow in SODO. Registration is required. From the announcement:

QFC and Fred Meyer announced a partnership with the City of Seattle and the Seattle Mariners for free COVID-19 drive-thru testing. The first testing will be at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, May 13-14.

Testing Site Information:

● Dates: Wednesday, May 13 and Thursday, May 14

● Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

● Location: T-Mobile Park Parking Garage at 1250 1st Ave S. Seattle – south entrance (Massachusetts and Occidental)

● Registration is required. Register at or call 1-888-852-2567 (select option 1, then option 3).

Those eligible will next select a testing location and appointment time. Then, registrants will receive an email confirmation with pre-appointment paperwork to complete. When a person arrives for their test, they should have their photo ID ready and should leave their window rolled up for check-in, until a health-care practitioner comes to the car to administer the test.

For the testing, patients remain in their cars throughout the process, which is completed in just a few minutes using self-administered test kits. The test uses self-administered nasal swabs, which are less painful and designed to increase safety. This onsite testing is supported with laboratory services provided by eTrueNorth, a contractor of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Test results are expected within approximately 48 hours. The Seattle testing site is estimated to have capacity for 250 vehicles per day.

25 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS TESTING: Two updates on when and how to get it"

  • anonyme May 13, 2020 (10:23 am)

    Insane that several months into this thing testing is still only “increasingly available”.   We need to be able to identify carriers without having to wait for symptoms, at which point many people could already have been exposed.  Major fail by the feds, but to be fair, they had been hamstrung before this even started.

    • wendell May 13, 2020 (11:38 am)

      Hamstrung by their own incompetence…. to be genuinely fair.

      • Frog May 13, 2020 (4:15 pm)

        As a conspiracy-minded sort of person, I wonder if they are only pretending incompetence to cover up the real reason.  Commercial labs typically charge $100+ for a test, and that has to be added to the cost of sample takers in moon suits swabbing your sinuses.  Testing is very expensive.  Do you think your insurance company or HMO actually wants to pay for it?  I suspect the whole “dog ate the swabs” excuse is hiding their panic at the potential expense.  Meanwhile, public budgets will implode due to a combination of higher expenses and lower tax revenue, even not counting the expense of all the COVID testing everyone casually imagines in the future.  Testing everyone in King County even once could cost something above $200 million, which is serious money.  Who has that?  I understand that everyone has become accustomed to the idea that the Fed can print unlimited quantities of money to bail out everyone and absorb unlimited state expenses for everything.  But someone somewhere might be worried that US dollars might soon look like Zim dollars.

        • bolo May 13, 2020 (10:24 pm)

          Since the test is apparently so expensive, let me be the first one to give up my test, and instead put the money saved into the West Seattle Bridge GoFundMe Repair Fund. Anybody else?

    • Lillet May 13, 2020 (11:44 am)

      Nasal or Pharyngeal swab testing only provide a snapshot of an active Covid19 infection. You can test negative one day and be positive the next. What we really need are antibody (blood) tests for a majority of the population. While it isn’t known how long antibodies provide immunity in this disease, historically they provide protection for at least some amount of time.

      • Lena May 13, 2020 (12:56 pm)

        There is still a lot of issues with how accurate antibody testing is but LabCorp is offering it for free (just $10 blood draw fee).  I was tested last week – negative – results in two days.

        • M May 13, 2020 (4:37 pm)

          Where does one get this done? 

      • Xman May 13, 2020 (1:12 pm)

        Agreed. Seems past the point of testing unless you go to the hospital symptomatic. I would like to get an antibody test. 

    • Um, No! May 13, 2020 (1:00 pm)

      Hopefully this is a kick in the parts for past, current and future federal administrations.  It’s unfortunate nobody in the Feds over the last several decades have had the sense to make sure our national stockpile of medical equipment, testing supplies,  various medical resources and such were  adequate.   Hopefully this will create the initiative to bring the manufacturing for many of these things back to the US while creating jobs in  the process.  It’s embarrassing that we need to rely on manufacturers  from other countries for our some of our essential health needs and many many other things for that matter.   We can create and build vehicles that can drive themselves, missiles that can hit a can of soda from thousands of miles away and planes that can fly and land themselves when needed but we couldn’t seem to find the initiate to make sure we had face masks, testing supplies and plans if case of a pandemic like this?   The more we rely on other countries for most things the more doomed we are in the future. 

      • West Seattle since 1979 May 13, 2020 (5:07 pm)

        Since this is a new virus, they wouldn’t have had tests for it stockpiled.

        • Um, No! May 13, 2020 (8:25 pm)

          Obviously. I wasn’t speaking about specific tests.  Just the supplies needed to administer them.  That’s what seem to be the biggest hold up right now.  At least according to the governor.  Swaps, vials, collection supplies,  gloves, masks, etc. 

          • John May 14, 2020 (2:12 pm)

            UM, NO! After watching today’s  live testimony of Dr. Bright, you might want to check your claim about “nobody in the Feds” was concerned or watching our stockpile.  It appears that the lack of Federal supplies is directly attributable to the Trump administration.  I like to judge the veracity of a statement by the reaction of President Trump.  Here he has already ‘killed the messenger’ in personal attacks of Dr. Bright while ignoring the evidence.

      • HappyCamper May 13, 2020 (9:46 pm)

        Actually Bush Jr. started us on a path to be “ready” that continued on through the Obama admin. Got scrapped with the new admin.Lots of supplies have a limited shelf life. It was probably very difficult to procure more supplies for testing for a new pathogen while all of the supply chains were being disrupted.I agree that they should have been more ready though. If nothing else had a coordinated plan from feds down to cities ready to go. But this is America too so people see any new rules as a slippery slope toward having their brains chipped and being controlled so things like this are a very hard sell.

    • Jim May 13, 2020 (1:01 pm)

      The governors have made it clear that they are in charge of their own states.  Save a finger or two to point at them for failing.

      • Wendell May 13, 2020 (1:59 pm)

        Maybe, but I don’t recall any governor saying that Covid19 was a hoax to make Trump look bad.

        Trump denied and denied until it was waaay too late, and quite capable of making himself look bad, without any help BTW.

      • dhg May 13, 2020 (4:10 pm)

        Actually the governors were asking for federal coordination and Trump said no.  So several states have banded together to coordinate.   Northeast is one group, West Coast is the other. They’d all prefer not to bid against one another.

    • Also John May 13, 2020 (4:02 pm)

      I was sick 7 weeks ago.  Complete respiratory issues.  It felt like my throat was closing, coughing non-stop and wnlinded simply talking.    My primary doctor had no test available.  It took me 6 weeks to get over it.  I’ll be looking at taking an anti-body test.

  • Anne May 13, 2020 (11:01 am)

    Testing is great as it can show who has virus  now & not know it-but if test is negative -it only means you’re negative now-you can catch it an hour-day-week later. 

  • JDLR May 13, 2020 (12:50 pm)

    I don’t have a car. I’m okay with not participating with this screening, but I hope there is a plan in place for people who can’t drive. 

    • MG May 13, 2020 (6:33 pm)

      Take the bus!!

      • KM May 13, 2020 (9:56 pm)

        Unless they allow walk-up, that won’t work. It’s a drive-thru testing site, so only people who can drive and have access to a car can get tested. I’m hoping they have accommodations, but so many organized testing, food pick-ups, etc. have ignored non-drivers during the COVID-19 response. Extremely lame.

  • Joe May 13, 2020 (2:36 pm)

    The SCAN program was doing limited at-home community testing for symptomatics and asymptomatics until today, which I found out as I was awaiting my results! Ugh!

  • WSDUDEMAN May 13, 2020 (3:26 pm)

    Exactly Anne. If people have been watching Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix speak nearly daily, this is exactly what they have been saying. You can even test negative during the incubation period and then be infected. Tests should be reserved for those with symptoms. Stay safe friends.

  • anonyme May 14, 2020 (7:25 am)

    Agree about the drive-up testing leaving out a lot of people – especially seniors and some lower-income folks.

  • 1994 May 14, 2020 (11:04 pm)

    “Anybody that wants a test can get a test. That’s what the bottom line is,” Trump told reporters March 6 during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Didn’t Trump also say they would be free? 

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