Seattle has now administered 1 million COVID tests at citywide locations

Sep 15, 2021, 11:47 AM
Seattle, COVID tests...
The line at a drive through COVID-19 testing site in Seattle on Aurora Avenue on June 30, 2020. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced this week that one million COVID-19 tests have been administered at city sites since beginning operations in 2020.

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The testing sites include fixed locations with UW Medicine on Aurora, in SoDo, in Rainier Beach, and in West Seattle, as well as seven Curative kiosks throughout the city. The free testing services have been used by more than one in three Seattle residents.

“We worked quickly to launch a nation-leading free testing program to curb the spread of the virus and keep our community healthy and safe, and Seattle continues to have the lowest cases, hospitalizations, and deaths of every major American city,” Durkan said in a written release.

“Our partners at UW Medicine have seamlessly taken over the operations of these sites and ensuring this life-saving resource remains available to our residents,” she continued. “With the rise of more dangerous variants, please wear a mask, wash your hands, and get tested if you have symptoms or are exposed. If you or someone you know is not yet vaccinated, please get vaccinated. It’s safe, it’s free, and it’s the surest way to prevent the delta variant from spreading further in our communities.”

This announcement comes as state health officials point to a rise in demand for COVID tests across Washington, including increased demand in Seattle over the last 60 days. Right now, an average of 2,944 tests are performed daily across the four fixed sites, as compared to 1,177 in mid-July.

The Aurora site has administered the most tests at 392,716, followed close behind by SoDo at 320,790.

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The Seattle Fire Department began testing first responders on March 14, 2020. One month later, they began testing residents and workers in long-term care facilities. The department then launched its public COVID testing infrastructure on June 5, 2020, and has since launched four fixed sites and seven testing kiosks citywide. As of Aug. 1, UW Medicine has taken over operations of the city’s fixed testing sites.

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Seattle has now administered 1 million COVID tests at citywide locations