Seattle to offer free citywide coronavirus testing

Seattle to offer free citywide coronavirus testing
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - MARCH 13: A nurse swabs for coronavirus at the University of Washington Medical center on March 13, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. UW Medical staff feeling COVID-19 type symptoms were asked to pass through a drive-through screen center on campus for testing. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Thursday that the city will offer free citywide coronavirus testing in partnership with the University of Washington Medicine.

Testing will be performed at two locations. Drive-up sites will be located in north and south Seattle. Those sites are former emissions testing sites, which will allow for up to 1,600 tests per day, officials said.

However, the testing will only be for those who drive through and book ahead, KIRO-TV reported.

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Friday is the first day of testing at the south downtown site, and Monday is the first day of testing at the Aurora site. Testing results will be available online.

Those who test positive will be notified and receive information on next steps.

“To ensure Seattle can safely open under Gov. [Jay] Inslee’s phased plan, we must increase our testing capacity. Despite having insurance and primary care doctors, I’ve heard from many constituents who still can’t access [testing] or face increased barriers to COVID-19 tests," said Council member Debora Juarez, who represents District 5 North Seattle. "The city is utilizing its existing resources and relationships to expand available testing so those diagnosed can self-isolate and we can continue to slow the spread of coronavirus.”