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Free Covid-19 testing across county coming here

“If you give it away, they will come” might be one lesson Okanogan County Public Health takes away from its current push to provide Covid-19 testing for free all over the county.

The county started its free testing last Thursday, bringing in the National Guard to help in the effort.

By Monday afternoon, OCPH Administrator Lauri Jones said, they’d collected testing samples from more than 800 people in three communities: 375 in Winthrop, 80 in Brewster, and 368 in Omak. The health district already received from a Seattle lab the test results for those collected on Thursday and Friday. And the National Guard brought with them a new test analyzer that yields results for certain tests at the test site.

“It’s really nice to be able to get results back to people quickly,” Jones said.

Free tests are available today (Wednesday, Aug. 19) at the Indian Health Service Clinic in Nespelem from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., open for all in Okanogan County.

Another local testing site is planned for Aug. 25 at Lake Roosevelt High School from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Jones said.

She noted dates and places could shift as results come back showing more testing is evidently needed in a location that revealed a lot of positive cases.

A poster promoting the events promises the testing, to be conducted with self-swabbing, will be “quick, easy, and painless.”

Free masks will also be given out, whether you’re tested or not.


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