New mass testing site to offer equitable access across Spokane region
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Another COVID variant is starting to spread and with the holiday season in full swing, access to testing is more important than ever.
There is now a second mass testing site in the Spokane area. It opened at the Spokane County Fairgrounds on Friday and allows for quick, drive-up testing.
“The testing sites often start really slow as people learn about them, but once they get used to it being there, they’ll see more and more people come through,” said Daniel Pulse, Chief Growth Officer at Discovery Health MD.
On day one, 74 people were tested.
“The stated purposed for this site is for people who are symptomatic, who are in close contact or have had exposure, but we know that people are using it for a variety of reasons,” Pulse said.
Discovery Health MD, the site’s operator, expects to see those numbers climb quickly, especially as people gather and travel around the holidays.
The group also operates the mass testing site at Spokane Falls Community College, which is averaging almost 300 tests per day.
“We find it’s extremely important to us that people can easily access testing, that there are low barriers to getting tested,” Pulse said.
The original plan was to open both sites simultaneously, but organizers struggled to find a location in Spokane Valley.
Even now, they won’t be at the fairgrounds for long. By January, testing will likely intervene with events already planned for the site, so they are searching for another spot.
“Obviously, with new scares, new variants, people will be playing it safe for those reasons, as well, to get tested before going around loved ones,” Pulse said.
The lab processing the tests will be able to determine which variant is involved with positive results.
If you are in need of a test and are looking to visit the new site, you can book an appointment here.
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