South King County will soon have a new option for convenient, free COVID-19 testing. A new site at Highline College will expand efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in a disproportionately affected region of King County. The site is free and open to anyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status.
Beginning this Friday, Nov. 20, the testing site will be open 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It will be operated by CHI Franciscan and hosted by Highline College, with support from King County, and is provided as a walk-up tent off of South 240th Street in Highline College’s South Parking Lot. Free parking is available on the west side of the South Parking Lot and there is access to the 156 bus line.
People are encouraged, but not required, to register for a testing appointment.
Increasing resources where cases are highest
South King County has the highest rate of positive tests in the county. Addressing those disparities is one of Public Health – Seattle & King County’s highest priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Neighborhoods in south King County continue to experience the highest positivity rates in the region, and we must do everything possible to reverse the current trend of record-breaking case counts before our essential workers – including doctors and nurses – can no longer perform their duties,” says King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Along with masks and social distancing, getting tested is a big part of our response, and I want to thank Highline College and all our partners for helping to set up this new testing site. Thanksgiving will be different, but if everyone does their part, we can make sure all our loved ones stay safe and can celebrate together when the danger has passed.”
Highline College President John Mosby shares similar concerns for our most vulnerable populations.
“We know that communities of color face an increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19,” Mosby said. “With approximately 70 percent of Highline College students identifying as people of color, expanding access to COVID-19 testing at Highline College is not only necessary, it’s vital.”
Support for isolation and quarantine
Anyone who tests positive should isolate immediately. For those without a safe place to do so, King County isolation and quarantine sites are available to help people through a difficult situation and reduce risk of transmission. This is especially important for those living with a family member who is elderly or medically fragile, or people experiencing homelessness. Call the King County COVID-19 Call Center (206) 477-3977 to see if isolation and quarantine services are right for you.
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.