RENTON, WA — Public Health - Seattle & King County announced two new coronavirus testing sites Monday, expanding on a model used in Seattle to provide free and fast tests in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
The two latest drive-thru testing locations will open in Auburn on Tuesday, Sept. 1, and in Renton one week later. Between the two, public health officials hope to test more than 1,500 residents daily.
"We want the people of Auburn, Renton and all of South King County to take advantage of these and other testing sites in their communities, so that they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe," said Dow Constantine, King County Executive. "Before flu season arrives, we need to do all we can to lower the rates of COVID-19 across our region."
Here's where the new free testing facilities are located:
Auburn (Opening Sept. 1, 2020)
2701 C St SW, Auburn, WA 98001
Located at the east side of the General Services Administration property along C St SW.
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:30am-4:30pm
Renton (Opening Sept. 8, 2020)
805 SW 10th Ave. Renton, 98057
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
(Registration for appointments at Renton opens on Sept. 5).
While the number of new cases has recently shown improvement in King County and across much of the state, the rate of transmission remains well above target levels in the state's most populous county. Public health officials have focused particularly on the county's south end, where virus activity has shown to be especially high.
County officials hope the new sites will provide an easier way to get tested in underserved communities, and particularly for those who may be at higher risk for infection due to their jobs.
"If you look at the data from Public Health, and if you look at the data from Metro Transit, you'll see that part of this challenge is that a lot of the people who are essential workers and people who are helping to keep our community functioning live in South King County," Constantine said. "So, in doing that, they are exposing themselves to higher risk and they do need more access to testing."
In Auburn, the testing site will be operated and staffed by EMTs from Puget Sound Regional Fire District and neighboring departments. In Renton, the testing facility will be operated by HealthPoint.
All tests will be processed by local labs, via UW Medicine and Atlas Genomics, minimizing the time to get results. County officials said each patient should receive their results within two days.
Pre-registration is encouraged to minimize wait times, but public health officials say no one who seeks testing will be turned away.
Those experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms should seek testing immediately:
Shortness of breath
Loss of taste or smell
Muscle or body aches
Testing location information for sites across King County is available at Public Health’s testing location webpage. If you need help with registration, call the King County COVID-19 Call Center (open seven days a week, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.), at 206-477-3977.