As Cases Surge in Seattle, COVID-19 Testing Extended at Rainier Beach and West Seattle
713 Positive COVID-19 Cases in Seattle Over Last 14 Days; Hotspots Surging in ZIP Codes 98105 and 98115
COVID-19 Testing Now Available at Rainier Beach and West Seattle Sites Until At Least April 17; Seattle Fire Department Prepared to Continue Extending Testing as Necessary
SEATTLE (March 29, 2021) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced that due to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases across King County, the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) will continue to offer COVID-19 testing at its Community Testing and Vaccination Hubs in Rainier Beach and West Seattle. The last day of testing at both hubs was previously scheduled for March 30. According to data from Public Health – Seattle & King County, there have been 713 positive COVID-19 cases in Seattle over the last two weeks, which represents 3.1 percent of all tests in Seattle. There have been 3,117 positive COVID-19 cases across King County over the last two weeks, which represents 5.8 percent of all tests in King County.
“The City’s top priority continues to be doing everything we can to combat the COVID-19 pandemic here in Seattle and across our state. The recent spike in cases - especially in the last week - makes clear that we still need robust, free testing across Seattle. The Seattle Fire Department has the important flexibility to continue testing and vaccinations at our Rainier Beach and West Seattle hubs, and until we can lower cases, we will continue testing,” said Mayor Durkan. “We can only end the pandemic if we work together as a community. So please, get vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible. Continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and following all public health guidance. As the days get longer and warmer, our desire to gather as a community will no doubt increase. But we have to be smart and cautious, or else we risk a prolonged surge in cases that will put the health and safety of our city in jeopardy.”
According to City of Seattle data, COVID-19 cases are currently spiking in North Seattle ZIP Codes 98105 (University District) and 98115 (Wallingford). COVID-19 testing demand is now increasing across the City’s sites – including Rainier Beach and West Seattle. While the City of Seattle test sites have a 3.6 percent positivity rate over the last seven days, some ZIP Codes in South and West Seattle now have high positivity rates between 4.2 percent to 6.5 percent, with significant increases over the last seven days.
To-date, SFD’s four fixed COVID-19 testing sites have administered 691,933 tests. Rainier Beach has administered 83,535 tests, and West Seattle has administered 79,545 tests.
In addition to Rainier Beach and West Seattle, the City continues to operate its COVID-19 drive-through testing sites in Aurora and SoDo, and many appointments are available each week. The City currently has Curative kiosks throughout Seattle with many appointments available. Visit the City’s COVID-19 testing website for more information, including how to book appointments.
“The design of our four Seattle Fire operated sites allow us to quickly transition lanes to either vaccination or testing. With the recent spike in cases, we determined we need to keep testing open at our hubs for now, until we start to see the case count decrease again. We are prepared to continue serving our community however needed, as we move forward in the pandemic response,” said Fire Chief Harold Scoggins.
“Though we have made good progress on the vaccination front with Seattle Fire’s efforts and other vaccination sites in the region, many in our community still remain susceptible to contracting COVID-19. With the new variants of COVID-19 in our area and the resulting increase of cases, we are keeping testing open at our sites in Rainier Beach and West Seattle so people who have symptoms can quickly get tested and make informed decisions on self-isolation,” said Seattle Fire’s Medical Director Dr. Michael Sayre.
To-date, the City’s Rainier Beach and West Seattle vaccination hubs have administered 20,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Community-based organizations are given advance registration access to each site, but Washington State Department of Health (DOH) eligible members of the public can sign up now for the City’s vaccination appointment notification list. Once eligible members of the public sign up for the City’s notification list, they will receive an email notification when vaccination appointments become available at any of the City’s three fixed sites in Rainier Beach, West Seattle, and the Lumen Field Event Center.
For more information on the City’s vaccination efforts, including the vaccine appointment notification list, visit the City’s vaccination website at www.seattle.gov/vaccine. The site contains vaccination information in seven languages, and in-language assistance is also available over the phone.
Even as more residents get vaccinated, public health measures like social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing your hands remain critical. Please continue to follow all public health guidance, and visit this website from Public Health – Seattle & King County for more information.