Updated: Free Covid testing to be offered across county this month
Updated with local testing dates
Last updated 8/17/2020 at 4:10pm
Okanogan County Public Health will be offering FREE COVID-19 testing throughout Okanogan County starting August 13, through the month for all residents of the county.
Locally, testing is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 19 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the IHS Clinic at the Colville Indian Agency campus near Nespelem. It's open to all.
Testing is also currently scheduled in Coulee Dam for Aug. 25 from 2-7 p.m. at Lake Roosevelt High School.
"In order to get our economy, schools, and health back on track, and to control the spread of the disease, it would be helpful for all county residents who are interacting with others to get tested for COVID-19" said Okanogan County Health Officer Dr. John McCarthy. "A large proportion of the transmission of this virus is thought to be due to people without any symptoms who have no idea they have the disease. Please consider testing and engaging in mask wearing/physical distancing and minimizing group gatherings until we have this back under control."
OCPH requested assistance from the state, asking for medical units from the Washington National Guard to support this effort, including the 10th Civil Support Mobile Lab Team.
Because Washington National Guard has effectively supported food banks, employment security departments, contact tracing projects, test kit assembly projects, and operations of community-based test sites since the beginning of COVID-19, the district requested their support in expanding testing availability across the county.
"We are honored and grateful to have the assistance from the Washington National Guard and one Randy Robbins, an Okanogan County resident, physician's assistant with Family Health Centers and a Washington National Guardsman, who will be overseeing medical staff conducting sample collection," said Lauri Jones, health administrator in the county.
Having the assistance of the Washington National Guard will reduce the burden on local hospitals and health systems.
There will be one testing location each day (six days a week) on a rotating schedule.
Testing sites will include the following areas:
North County – Oroville/Tonasket
Methow Valley – Winthrop/Twisp
South County – Brewster, August 18th at Pateros-Brewster Resource Center in Pateros, 2pm – 7pm
Central County – Omak
Colville Reservation – Nespelem, Aug. 19, 7 am-1 pm at IHS Clinic
Southeast County – Coulee Dam, Aug. 25, 2-7 pm at Lake Roosevelt High School.
These schedules are tentative, Jones said, because they may have to shuffle dates and places if test results show a need for more testing in some places.
We will update this story when more dates and times are available. This was updated Monday, Aug. 17, at 3:41. p.m.
You can also check the county health page at https://okanogancountycovid19.org/community-based-covid-19-testing-dates-announced/
This community-based COVID-19 testing opportunity is:
• for anyone
• and confidential, OCPH said in a release.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, everyone in the county is encouraged to get tested this month.
Testing will be easy and pain free, officials said, and you will not be asked to quarantine while you wait for the test results, unless you have symptoms.