City of Seattle Surpasses 200,000th COVID-19 Test

Rainier Beach testing site moving to Atlantic City Boat Ramp beginning Monday, September 28 

Seattle (September 24, 2020) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced the City of Seattle has administered more than 200,000 COVID-19 tests across four Citywide testing sites. Seattle opened the City’s first two testing sites in Aurora and SoDo in June and added two additional walk-up sites in West Seattle and Rainier Beach in August. These four sites have a combined capacity to test nearly 4,000 clients daily. 

Beginning Monday, September 28, the Rainier Beach location will move one block east to the Atlantic City Boat Ramp. Boat launching will be available at the Stan Sayres boat launch, 3308 Lake Washington Blvd S. 

Site locations were selected because of their accessibility across Seattle and to meet the needs of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The City recognizes the importance of convenience and getting test results to clients quickly. City of Seattle Citywide testing sites operate, Monday through Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Testing takes on average 15 minutes and many clients receive results in as few as 24 hours.  

“We continue to be in the midst of a global pandemic that is disproportionately impacting our communities of color. It’s critical that we have testing in those communities to save lives,” said Mayor Durkan. “This week, we’ve surpassed 200,000 COVID-19 tests at our Citywide sites. This week, we also marked that this deadly disease has taken 200,000 lives across our country. To protect our families, friends, and communities against COVID-19, we must continue to be vigilant about wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, washing our hands and most importantly – if you have symptoms, get tested immediately.”

Testing is free for everyone regardless of insurance status. No one will be charged or receive a bill for getting tested. For insured clients, UW Medicine will handle the billing of an individuals’ private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare. Under Washington 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. 

Sites are currently prioritizing individuals who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. However, clients do not need a doctor’s note to schedule a test.  

Sites do have limited capacity for day-of testing, but prefer that clients who can register online do so. This helps to keep wait times below 10 minutes. Individuals can sign up for a test at their preferred site by visiting: http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/covid-19/covid-19-testing.  

Testing along with robust contact tracing efforts is widely acknowledged as one of the most important ways to protect communities from the spread of COVID-19. Mayor Durkan continues to fiercely advocate for the federal government to rapidly increase testing supplies including testing reagents, an important component for labs to process the samples being taken and return results in a timely manner.