Three new free COVID-19 test sites open in south King County this week. In addition, local community organizations will provide free-drive through testing access in Renton and Federal Way this weekend. Also, the Greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) study is resuming. The study will continue to inform King County’s public health response by helping understand where the virus exists in our region and how it is spreading.
Expanded free testing in south King County
Public Health – Seattle & King County has expanded free COVID-19 testing resources in south King County, where communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. These three new free testing sites will provide ongoing access to testing in south Seattle and south King County. The sites will be located at Sea Mar Community Health Centers at South Park, HealthPoint Auburn and at UW Mobile Clinic at Auburn City Adventist Church. This brings the total number of free testing sites in south Seattle and south King County to ten, with 18 total free testing sites overall in King County.
In addition, this Saturday and Sunday, June 13th and 14th, free drive-through COVID-19 testing and essential supplies (e.g. diapers, toiletries) will be available in Renton and Federal Way. King County is partnering with local community organizations and Ms. Tina Knowles Lawson’s #IDIDMYPART campaign and Beyoncé’s BeyGood for this launch event.
Public Health – Seattle & King County urges anyone with even mild COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, to contact a healthcare provider or testing site to discuss testing. If you do not have symptoms or have not been in contact with someone with COVID-19, Public Health is not recommending testing at this time.
Most people should access testing through their regular health care provider. However, if you are unable to access testing through your health care provider, please seek testing at one of the free sites. Language interpretation services are available.
“We’ve always known that Black and brown communities face barriers to quality healthcare compared to white communities,” said Hamdi Mohamed, King County Policy Advisor for the Executive Office of Equity and Social Justice. “We see it in high maternal mortality rates for Black women, we see it in disproportionately high populations of uninsured people in communities of color, and we see it now in the COVID-19 crisis, as people of color are being affected at a significantly higher rate than that of whites. At the County, we are partnering with Ms. Tina Knowles Lawson, BeyGood and local organizations like the Somali Health Board, to directly address the disparities we are witnessing and break down barriers to testing.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening already-existing health disparities in communities of color, immigrants and refugees,” said Dr. Ahmed Ali, Somali Health Board Executive Director. “Through these community-led testing events, in partnership with the health systems, the Somali Health Board ensures that the most vulnerable members of our communities have access to testing opportunities within their own neighborhood.”
- Videos in multiple languages promoting the weekend testing events.
- Visit Public Health’s testing webpage for more information about getting tested, including a list of free test sites.
- For more information about this weekend’s #IDIDMYPART and BeyGood initiative testing drive and supply distribution, visit the event website.
Greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) resumes testing
The greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) will resume testing of home-based, self-collected samples for COVID-19 on June 10, 2020. SCAN will resume operations as a research study with institutional review board (IRB) approval and oversight from the University of Washington, Seattle Children’s, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. This follows a pause beginning on May 12, after the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) clarified their guidance for home-based, self-collected samples to test for COVID-19.
As SCAN resumes testing, the study will continue to inform King County’s public health response. Based on learnings from the first phase of the program, the SCAN study will dedicate additional testing resources to previously under-represented groups in south King County, and conduct outreach to encourage greater enrollment within American Indian, Black, Hispanic or Latinx, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander communities.
In this next phase, the study will make more tests available for high-risk groups as well as for family members and close contacts of individuals who test positive. Children 18 years of age and under will also receive priority. Testing in homeless shelters and among healthcare workers in long-term care facilities will continue under the Seattle Flu Study.
- Read our post about SCAN resuming testing on our Public Health Insider blog.
- New SCAN participants are invited to enroll at https://scanpublichealth.org/. Please note that daily enrollment is limited.
Daily totals for new COVID-19 cases and deaths are available on Public Health’s Data Dashboard webpage, which updates as soon as data are available, typically between 1-3 p.m.
Isolation and quarantine facilities update
Forty-seven people are currently staying in King County isolation and quarantine facilities.