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Mass covid testing coming to Quincy, Moses Lake

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | September 11, 2020 1:05 AM

By CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE

Staff Writer

MOSES LAKE — Grant County Health District will conduct two mass coronavirus testing events in September.

The first event will be at the Grant County Fairgrounds on Thursday, Sept. 17, and Friday, Sept. 18, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The second mass testing event will be held at the Quincy High School parking lot on Saturday, Sept. 19. No time was given for it.

Speaking during a weekly press briefing on Thursday, GCHD administrator Theresa Adkinson said anyone can come in to be tested at no cost to themselves and results of the tests will be available within 24 to 48 hours.

Adkinson explained that the test results will be available quickly because the tests will be run on-site.

“We can do a rapid turnaround because there’s no shipping time,” she said.

Anyone testing positive will be notified by either the health district or Moses Lake Community Health, which will be assisting with the mass testing, Adkinson said.

The mass testings, which Adkinson described as a “one-time surveillance event,” are being paid for by the Washington State Department of Health and are being done to get an idea of the true extent of COVID-19 in Grant County.

“This is an opportunity to get a better sense, because we anticipate more COVID over the next several weeks because of the Memorial Day holiday and the start of school,” Adkinson said.

In fact, Adkinson said the health district is seeing more community spread of COVID-19 — cases that cannot be linked to high-risk events like big gatherings.

“That’s pretty reflective of the time we live in now,” she said.

The mass testing also gives people concerned that they might have been exposed to the virus, such as teachers, the ability to get tested without having to bill their insurance or get it noted on their medical records, Adkinson added.

Adkinson said the health district will have more information about the specifics of the two mass testing events early next week.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.