UPDATE: Long lines for COVID-19 testing at two West Seattle middle schools, as superintendent reiterates plan to resume in-person classes Tuesday

1:48 PM: That’s just part of the line for this afternoon’s voluntary Seattle Public Schools student COVID-19 testing at Denny International Middle School – it started at 1 pm and when we went by around 1:15, the line had already wrapped through the parking lot and halfway up the block along SW Kenyon. We also got a report that people in line at the other West Seattle site, Madison Middle School, were being told there would be a two-hour wait. To compound matters, though our photo was taken in the sunshine, sleet/snow has since swept through the area, followed by rain. The testing is supposed to continue until at least 4 pm. We’re also awaiting an update from the district on the resumption of classes tomorrow – there was word that superintendent Dr. Brent Jones was expected to speak to staff around 11 am but then that was postponed.

3:39 PM: The district added a brief update to its website, timestamped 3:30 pm – “All SPS COVID testing sites have reached testing capacity and are no longer taking additional guests.” Meantime, a commenter has shared the link of the aforementioned speech from the superintendent – see it here or below:

He reiterates that they’re planning to resume in-person classes tomorrow.

38 Replies to "UPDATE: Long lines for COVID-19 testing at two West Seattle middle schools, as superintendent reiterates plan to resume in-person classes Tuesday"

  • K January 3, 2022 (2:07 pm)

    This is why I didn’t even attempt to bring my child.  2 seconds of math brought me to this conclusion.  They thought they could test potentially every WS student at just 2 schools in 3 hours?  I appreciate the thought, but the execution was poor.  They should have given the tests to every individual school and teacher- then split up teachers into time slots at each school… then show up when it’s your teachers time.  

  • Bandana January 3, 2022 (2:08 pm)

    There were only two people in line at the Curative kiosk at Don Armeni Park when I drove by at lunchtime.

  • ChrisA January 3, 2022 (2:24 pm)

    Lovely day to be waiting in line outdoors!

  • skeeter January 3, 2022 (2:31 pm)

    I’m an SPS parent.  Is there any advantage to the school testing site over an at-home testing kit from the drug store?

    • Sam-c January 3, 2022 (6:55 pm)

      “Why not a home test?”  Did you stock up at home?  I’ve been looking for home tests but haven’t seen them available for purchase for over a month now ( looking on amazon, Walgreens,wal mart, rite aid cvs…..)  I’ve got 1 at home test that i’ve been saving since Oct.  until necessary. Not using one now since our family didn’t go or gather for the holidays. 

      • KP January 3, 2022 (8:00 pm)

        Sam, before you bash them for asking a question. I have not looked too hard and have found covid tests on CVS and Amazon on multiple occasions. 

        • sam-c January 4, 2022 (9:32 am)

          No bashing here, I was just asking a question also …Please let me know where you’ve seen them in stock.  I’ve checked Wal-mart, Walgreen’s, CVS, Rite Aid, Amazon websites daily for about a month and they’ve all been ‘out of stock’If I can’t find any or only have a couple left, I would opt to stand in line.

  • Orb January 3, 2022 (2:35 pm)

    It is a mess out there. On perhaps the most important day for testing before kids head safely back to school, all the sites I visited were not taking walkups. Thistle supposedly had a computer problem, alki declined walkups (despite me being the only one there), bartells and qfc also no. Line for kids to be standing in the snow/rain is frustrating. Can we not do better?

  • Alki resident January 3, 2022 (2:41 pm)

    Absolutely ridiculous , couldn’t have thought of a different plan like separate locations with last names A-F and G-O and so on? 

  • B January 3, 2022 (2:59 pm)

    Any word on if the Southwest clinic on Thistle is currently accepting walk-ins or are they doing appointments only? I’ve been getting conflicting information……

  • Seattle Educator January 3, 2022 (3:01 pm)

    The SPS Office of Public Affairs gave staff access to the delayed message from the SPS Superintendent Dr. Jones after our workday was over today. It doubles down on students returning to in-person learning on Tuesday. Watch the message here: https://vimeo.com/662052894

    • keepschoolsopen January 3, 2022 (5:09 pm)

      I’m ecstatic to see that kids will be back in school tomorrow as they have suffered enough over the past two years.

  • MercyMoi January 3, 2022 (3:11 pm)

    Would be nice if OSPI would waive tomorrow for another day of testing. Clearly running two sites for three hours to test 9,000 students in the Southwest region wasn’t enough.

    • Eddie January 3, 2022 (5:31 pm)

      Year round school. The time has come.I’m just sayin’.

      • MercyMoi January 3, 2022 (6:00 pm)

        I’m the biggest of year round school! Too many benefits to ignore the prospect.

  • Sam January 3, 2022 (3:40 pm)

    Can anyone at either location say if it’s worth trying to go by now. Tried going at 1pm and it was a 2-hour wait in the snow/hail/rain. Not sure if 4pm is a hard stop.

    • WSB January 3, 2022 (3:41 pm)

      We’ve just added the line from the district saying they’re not accept anyone else, so if you’re not in line now, don’t go.

  • Brian January 3, 2022 (3:50 pm)

    Just got a phone call from SPS stating all test sites are at capacity for the day. 

  • AL January 3, 2022 (3:53 pm)

     Nice work on the socially distant line SPS.  If the students didn’t have COVID after standing that close to each other in line- I would bet that a lot of them will now.  Off to school tomorrow!  So brilliant SPS.

    • Eddie January 3, 2022 (6:24 pm)

      We’ve been doing this for just under two years now yet you look to someone else to be responsible for your social distancing?

    • Just wow January 3, 2022 (7:25 pm)

      Exactly! Went to Denny for testing got there and looked inside the gym, figured it would be the most likely place I would be exposed to Covid all break, left without a test. 

  • bill January 3, 2022 (4:20 pm)

    Gee, let’s gather hundreds of students and parents close together! What could go wrong? My neighbor is keeping his family away from this superspreader event.

  • B January 3, 2022 (4:30 pm)

    Does anyone know if the Southwest testing clinic across the street from here accepts walk-ins still? Or is it by appointment only? I’ve been getting conflicting info…….

    • WSB January 3, 2022 (5:13 pm)

      A reader emailed today to say they were told no walk-ins. At this point, given the demand for both testing and vaccinations, I wouldn’t try any sites for either of those services on a walk-in basis.

  • onion January 3, 2022 (5:19 pm)

    Nice that they offered this testing opportunity, but more than 2 sites would clearly be needed for 9000 or so students.. A testing site at each school (if that were even possible)?

    • WSB January 3, 2022 (5:37 pm)

      The district said last week that on-site testing also will be available at schools for the rest of the week, so I hope parents have been provided with info on that.

      • B January 3, 2022 (6:26 pm)
        So far all I’ve been able to find re: more testing on-site after today’s round is this very vague blurb on their website: “Additional testing will be available for students throughout next week at each school site….”. 
  • Positive Parent January 3, 2022 (5:19 pm)

    Well, my student tested positive so will NOT be going to school for 10 days. I hope remote learning is in place for Denny as my student wasn’t aware of anything thus far.  Also, with all the kids standing toe to toe, I assume more postive cases this week.  While I get it helps stop the spread — this should have been done at the START of the winter break and lasted more than one day.  Also, make it mandetory: no test, no school.

    • Jon Wright January 3, 2022 (5:57 pm)

      At the start of winter break before family holiday get togethers and vacation trips? That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  • Mj January 3, 2022 (5:25 pm)

    Bill – you claim it is a super spreader event, based on what data?  Outside in queue with other vaccinated people, all the kids I have inquired with are vaccinated.

    • Buddy January 3, 2022 (5:52 pm)

      For your information people who have been vaccinated and have also gotten the booster shot are getting the new virus!!  

    • bill January 3, 2022 (8:44 pm)

      MJ: Look higher up the the comments: “Went to Denny for testing got there and looked inside the gym, figured it would be the most likely place I would be exposed to Covid” It’s not entirely outside. And even being outside look at the lineup in the picture. No separation. I have no data about today’s event. But we have two years of experience. Crowding large numbers of people together is not a good idea. 

  • Curious January 3, 2022 (5:36 pm)

    I’m wondering how many of the students tested positive today? Will SPS be making those numbers known?

    • Christina January 3, 2022 (10:20 pm)

      My son was tested at Madison today (old enough to go in by himself). He took the test, got the result, no one recorded it or even took his permission slip. No record of him being there or his results. I believe the registration site (that was optional) said students could take a photo of the results and email it to the school, if they wished to share. 

  • Tini January 3, 2022 (5:50 pm)

    So glad to have this testing available!  Only problem was the 4 hours we waited Sunday at South Shore preK-8 to get through the line.  

  • JJ January 3, 2022 (6:30 pm)

    So how many positives on these rapid tests? Are they going to be reported to the state for tracking?

  • Westseattlebob January 3, 2022 (8:47 pm)

    Wow, just wow. You mean to tell me you all went to stand in line at 1pm? Why would you not get there earlier to ensure your kiddo got tested? Better yet, why did you wait and not try and schedule a PCR test at one of the UW sites? Asking for a friend. As for Denny being crowded? Not what we saw. Each table had one family at it and only had 3 seats per table to distance. Agree, however that everything about this test day was extremely last minute. It really should have been done at each students today instead. It would have ensured equity amongst everyone. SPS really dropped the ball and i would hope that we all hold the superintendent and others accountable for this laughable situation we and teachers were put in today.

  • Complain! Complain! January 4, 2022 (8:41 am)

    If SPS didn’t offer testing this week, people would complain. They offered testing and people still complained about everything. If you want to make a change in how things run, because I guess some of you could do much better, then run for a school board position, become a teacher, be in the middle of it all so you can gain some perspective into how thing really work. Damned if you do and damned you don’t. 

Sorry, comment time is over.