With 82 Percent of Seattle Residents Beginning Vaccination Process, City of Seattle to Transition Testing and Vaccination Efforts to Partners

UW Medicine Will Now Provide Free COVID-19 Testing at Aurora and SODO Hubs with Continued Access to Curative Kiosks

As COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Provider, the City Has Administered 260,000 Vaccinations and Nearly 800,000 Tests

SEATTLE (July 28, 2021) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today urged residents to continue to be tested for COVID-19 and announced that the City of Seattle is transitioning its testing and vaccination efforts to partners on July 31, 2021. To-date, the City of Seattle has administered 259,315 COVID-19 vaccinations, totaling in over 134,000 individuals, 45 percent of whom identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. The City has also provided 786,131 COVID-19 tests, and the City’s fixed testing sites have been used by one in three Seattle residents. The Seattle Fire Department (SFD) will continue to administer vaccine through its Mobile Vaccination Teams (MVT) and at its SODO Vaccination and Testing Hub through 5:30 p.m. on July 31, 2021.

UW Medicine will offer free COVID-19 testing at the Aurora and SODO hubs without a gap in service, in addition to testing at the Rainier Beach and West Seattle hubs. Vaccination continues to be available at pharmacies, community health centers, and health care providers including the Downtown Public Health Center.

“With the rise of more dangerous variants, let’s get back to basics: wear a mask in indoor public places, wash your hands, and get tested if you have symptoms. Seattle was the first city in America to feel the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We worked quickly to launch programs to curb the spread of the virus and keep our communities healthy and safe, and Seattle continues to have the lowest cases, hospitalizations, and deaths of every major American city,” said Mayor Durkan. “Our City departments took on new roles to create a nation-leading free testing infrastructure, and then to launch a citywide vaccination effort. Thanks to this work – and to Seattleites’ commitment to vaccinations – we became the first major American city to vaccinate 70 percent of our eligible residents, and we’ll soon reach 80 percent fully vaccinated. Our success in vaccinations allows us to transition back to our core functions and focus on reopening. But please, 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.”

On January 14, 2021, SFD became the first Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agency in Washington state to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Since then, the City has helped launch five fixed vaccination sites throughout Seattle in North Seattle, West Seattle, Rainier Beach, SODO, and the Lumen Field Event Center, which was the largest civilian-run vaccination site in the country. On June 9, 2021, Seattle became the first major American city to vaccinate 70 percent of its residents 12 and older. As of July 27, 82 percent of eligible Seattle residents have begun the vaccination process, and 76.7 percent of eligible residents have completed the vaccination series.

SFD began testing first responders on March 14, 2020, and one month later, began testing residents and workers in long-term care facilities that were experiencing a high volume of COVID-19 cases. SFD then launched its public COVID-19 testing infrastructure on June 5, 2020, and has since launched four fixed testing sites in North Seattle, SODO, Rainier Beach, and West Seattle, and partnered with Curative to add seven free COVID-19 testing kiosks citywide.

“It has been a true honor and privilege for the Seattle Fire Department to play an integral role in vaccinating the community we serve over the past seven months. As a City, we have administered more than 259,000 vaccines through our mobile vaccination team deployments, pop-up clinics and fixed vaccination sites, which has helped us reach 82 percent of Seattleites beginning the vaccination process. I am proud to work and live in a community where so many of our neighbors have chosen to get vaccinated to protect themselves, those around them and ultimately help us recover from this pandemic. While SFD’s work on the vaccination front will come to a close, our commitment to serving you remains strong and will continue on,” said Fire Chief Harold Scoggins.

“UW Medicine, which has provided laboratory testing capacity for the region since the beginning of the pandemic, will be partnering with the City of Seattle to take over responsibility for their test collection sites to ensure testing remains broadly available in our community. UW Medicine’s mission is to improve the health of the public, and in keeping with that mission, in the face of rising test demand and positivity rates, we want to ensure that our community has access to timely and accurate COVID-19 testing with no out-of-pocket cost,” said Dr. Geoffrey Baird, Professor and Chair, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at UW Medicine.   

Even as its COVID-19 vaccination infrastructure closes, the City’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) and Department of Neighborhoods (DON) are continuing contracts with community-based organizations working to combat vaccine hesitancy among under-vaccinated groups. OIRA launched a series of in-language helplines to answer questions and/or find vaccination opportunities for immigrant and refugee residents who are limited English proficient and/or have limited access to the internet. More information on the OIRA Vaccine Community Helplines is available here.

City-administered vaccinations have occurred at 88 Adult Family Homes, 110 affordable housing buildings, 22 permanent supportive housing buildings, 43 community partner pop-ups, 44 schools, two vulnerable youth-serving organizations, 37 city sporting events with MLS and MLB partners, local breweries, business districts, and the five City-affiliated fixed vaccination sites. 

With the delta variant, COVID-19 cases are rising in King County. According to Public Health – Seattle & King County, since June 29, average daily case counts in King County have swelled to 141 – a 130 percent increase in just over three weeks. The best way to stem this increase is for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. The large majority of recent cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated residents. Over the past 30 days in King County, 94 percent of hospitalizations and 94 percent of deaths due to COVID-19 occurred among people who aren’t fully vaccinated. Residents can find more information on the rise in COVID-19 cases on Public Health – Seattle & King County’s blog. Public Health – Seattle & King County also have resources for fully vaccinated residents who have been exposed to COVID-19.

Residents interested in non-City sponsored vaccination options can visit https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/ and search by their desired ZIP Code. Public Health – Seattle & King County has collected resources for residents in King County seeking a vaccination, including transportation and child care assistance. Residents who need language interpretation, help finding a vaccination or testing site, or ADA accommodation can call the King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Residents can find COVID-19 testing sites at this City of Seattle website.