COVID-19 testing sites in King County have seen a 20-50% increase in volume in the past month, likely driven by a rise in Delta variant cases, increased travel and other factors, according to public health officials.
“We are seeing a surge in testing throughout King County, including sites not operated by Public Health,” said Sharon Bogan, a spokesperson for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “We are experiencing similar numbers to last winter.”
At the Federal Way testing site, 923 people were tested on Monday, Aug. 16 — the highest number of visitors in the past two weeks. Since the beginning of August, the Federal Way site has seen nearly 5,000 new patients and 4,226 returning patients for virus testing.
In June, prior to this recent surge in COVID-19 cases, many testing sites had reduced staffing to accommodate a lower volume of patients. The county is now working to increase staff once again to meet demand, Bogan said.
The rise in cases is likely the result of multiple factors including increased spread of the more contagious Delta variant and increased social gatherings, travel and other activities with businesses reopening and fewer people wearing masks, Bogan said.
There has been a steady increase in testing volume since June, Bogan said. In the last week of June, the site averaged 152 tests per day compared with the average of 714 tests a day in the second week of August.
The Federal Way site is scheduled to remain open until at least Dec. 31.
Operation of the site depends on positivity rates in South King County, the demand for testing, and the availability of funding, Bogan said.
Free COVID-19 testing is available from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 650 SW Campus Drive in Federal Way.
To view other testing sites in King County, visit kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/testing.aspx.