(Added: Seattle Channel video of announcement)
3:47 PM: The city’s been promising for a while that a new COVID-19 testing site was in the works for West Seattle, and the location has just been announced: The lot at Southwest Athletic Complex, 2801 SW Thistle (behind SW Pool/Teen Life Center). Testing will be available there five days a week. Mayor Jenny Durkan is making the announcement in Rainier Beach this afternoon, while visiting one of the city’s three existing sites. We talked with her by phone while she was on the way to that event; she says, “We’re going to have to live with COVID at least another year or so,” which means abundantly available testing will be all the more important. Right now, she says, the city’s three testing sites are accounting for about 15 percent of the testing done statewide – administering more than 128,000 tests since early June. More details from the announcement:
Testing is free at the City of Seattle sites, and clients are not billed regardless of health insurance status. For those with insurance, UW Medicine will handle the billing of Medicaid, Medicare, or individuals’ private insurance. Under Washington state law, insurance companies cannot charge co-pays for COVID-19 testing. For uninsured clients, UW Medicine will seek reimbursement directly from the federal, Families First Coronavirus Response Act Relief Fund for the cost of the test.
Clients can, and should, register online to keep wait times to 10 minutes or less. Registration for the West Seattle location will be available on Wednesday, August 26, and testing will begin Friday, August 28. Hours across all sites are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Individuals can sign up to be tested five days of the week. Translation services are offered at all Citywide testing sites and can be requested during the registration process. Individuals should first seek to access testing through their primary care physician.
This testing will be available to anyone, the mayor stressed; appointments are preferred – a West Seattle link will show up soon on this webpage – and they’re working on same-day options for people with symptoms.
5:22 PM: Here’s the full announcement. (Note that although the city’s headline says this is at Chief Sealth, we verified that it’s across the street at SWAC, “behind the pool.”)