VIDEO: City to open COVID-19 testing site in West Seattle

(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.”)

10 Replies to "VIDEO: City to open COVID-19 testing site in West Seattle"

  • Joan August 20, 2020 (4:04 pm)

    This is good to know. Not needed by me at the moment, thankfully. But free and available, that’s what every community in the country needs. (But, how long does it take to get results, and how reliable are they? I just had to ask for everyone else who would.)

    • trickycoolj August 20, 2020 (9:53 pm)

      I have two friends that were tested at the Aurora site in July with same day appointments and got results in 48 hours. One had attempted to get a test out of state on work travel and it was an 11 day wait just to get tested in that other state.  Down in Pierce County a relative was tested and took 8 days to get results. All 3 were thankfully negative. 

    • Thankful August 20, 2020 (11:03 pm)

      I have used the SODO location and results have never been more than 40ish hours from the time of the test. Thanks to all of the people who help provide this service. 

    • Also John August 21, 2020 (9:24 am)

      I used the site near Costco where we all use to get our vehicle smog testing performed.    My results were posted online 19 hrs later. 

  • Bill August 20, 2020 (6:07 pm)

    It would be accessible to a lot more people if the 22 bus was running!

  • me August 20, 2020 (6:42 pm)

    I was wondering how people who don’t drive get testing, you can walk up at some testing sites but how do you get to the site without exposing people on the bus or in an Uber?

  • Doree Fazio Young August 20, 2020 (8:24 pm)

    Wow that’s gonna increase traffic on Thistle Street but I guess without The pool and community center and the 2 schools being closed it won’t be that big of a deal

  • Tested August 20, 2020 (9:07 pm)

    This is great. I hope we see more pop up soon. I was just tested today at the SODO location. Very quick and efficient with friendly staff. As mentioned, non-driving access could be improved, but this is far better than an industrial district location for that concern. 

  • Beth August 21, 2020 (7:34 am)


  • Mj August 21, 2020 (6:01 pm)

    I’m curious about testing for antibodies.  A 53 year old colleague of mine and his wife both got tested because their adult daughter tested positive.  They both have the antibodies and said it was like a summer cold, they would not have been tested typically but got tested due to their daughters positive test.

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