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More free COVID-19 testing available, protesters encouraged to be tested

(Photo: KOMO News)
(Photo: KOMO News)
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Thousands of people have participated in citywide marches and demonstrations recently, and with more and more places now offering COVID-19 testing for free, there’s a big reminder that people could and should go get tested.

At many testing sites, people won't need to show symptoms.

At Bellevue College, new drive-through COVID-19 testing kicked off Tuesday. QFC and Fred Meyer pharmacists and staff are on hand to help people do the nasal swab test on themselves in their own car.

This is the same type of testing that has been offered in Tacoma and at T-Mobile Park.

People will not have to pay or need to have insurance and you are advised to register before you come.

With so many people participating in rallies and demonstrations lately, many places are opening up testing to people who don't even show symptoms.

“I think it would be a great idea to come test -- especially if you're out closer than 6 feet distance," said Fred Meyer pharmacist Laurie Krause at the Bellevue College drive-through testing site. "Even, if you’re out with a mask, I still think there’s a lot of shouting, yelling in your area and you are in other people’s breathing space, come get tested."

UW Medicine also stresses people who gather in large groups-- especially protesters -- to pay close attention to their health.

“We recommend if you’ve been to large gatherings like the protests or any other, you monitor yourself very closely for symptoms,” said Lisa Brandenburg, President of UW Medicine Hospitals and Clinics. “If you do have symptoms or have been around or exposed to anyone that you know has COVID-19, please come in and get tested right away.”

The City of Seattle has free COVID-19 testing at two sites — one in North Seattle on Aurora Avenue and one in SoDo.

The joint effort with UW Medicine and King County Public Health has increased testing capacity by more than 1,600 tests per day. They too say make sure you register online or over the phone first.

UW Medicine also has two mobile vans going out to do testing in communities that have much higher rates of COVID-19 and to do testing for the homeless population.


Rainier Beach High School - Wednesdays and Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

South Seattle College - Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Auburn City Adventist Church - Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kent Public Health Center - Thursdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wear your face covering when visiting the site and the process will take about 15 minutes. In most cases, test results will be ready in 24-48 hours.

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Also this week, free COVID-19 testing is available in Lynnwood at the Lynnwood Food Bank parking lot. Tests will be offered between 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. To make an appointment, call 206-902-8477 or 206-960-3550.

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