The importance of testing

What you should know about...

COVID-19 Response

The importance of testing

Vaccine may be in the spotlight right now, and while it’s a crucial tool to eventually help us overcome the pandemic, it’s not the only tool we should be using. We are still relying on things like wearing masks and getting tested to ensure our success in overcoming this pandemic, and we’ll need to keep doing so over the next few months.

Testing is a critical and essential part of the overall COVID-19 response. Identifying and isolating people who have COVID-19, and quarantining those exposed to the virus, are necessary to understanding, responding to, and stopping the spread of infection. Assuring equitable and widespread access to testing with rapid turnaround times for results remains a priority. For us to successfully stop the spread of the virus, it is critical for people to get tested when they have symptoms or when they have been exposed to someone suspected of having COVID-19.

Testing remains a priority. Please, encourage your family and friends to get tested if they’ve been exposed, or if they have symptoms. For more information about testing in Washington state see the state Department of Health’s (DOH) testing page, their updated statewide testing strategy and their testing location resources.

More than 25,000 get COVID-19 vaccine at state’s mass vaccination sites

Vaccination numbers continue to steadily increase at the state’s mass vaccination sites. DOH is pleased to announce registration is opening for week three.

Thanks to the hard work of DOH, the Washington National Guard and local and private sector partners, as of Feb. 5, 25,416 people received their COVID-19 vaccine at mass vaccination sites, including:

  • 6,021 in Spokane

  • 6,702 in Ridgefield

  • 5,614 in Wenatchee

  • 7,079 in Kennewick

The four sites opened on Jan. 26. The goal of mass vaccination sites is to increase access to vaccine across the state, ensure our plans are equitable, and protect those most at risk.

To make an appointment for next week, you must first confirm you’re eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine under Phase 1A or 1B-1 (PDF) using the Phase Finder tool. Phase Finder does not make you an appointment. Once confirmed through Phase Finder, you can make an appointment at one of the mass vaccination sites. Please note, hours and registration information is different for each location.