UW Medicine, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are testing their employees for COVID-19 at drive-thru testing sites.
Nurses began testing symptomatic UW Medicine staff, faculty and trainees from their cars on Friday at its Northwest facility in North Seattle and at Harborview Medical Center. SCCA and Fred Hutch employees showing symptoms were offered the testing in South Lake Union on Tuesday. Before SCCA spun up its own testing site, its employees were being tested by UW Medicine.
Three UW Medicine employees have tested positive. It isn’t known how the people contracted the virus and their results have been reported to Public Health -Seattle & King County, said Susan Gregg, a spokesperson for UW Medicine and Harborview Medical Center.
SCCA and Fred Hutch have yet to disclose how many employees were tested as of Wednesday afternoon.
The testing sites are only for employees of SCCA and UW Medicine. Testing by UW Medicine will continue as long as needed, Gregg said.
Employees showing symptoms of COVID-19 first fill out a survey to determine whether they need to be tested. They are then given a scheduled time to show up at one of the testing centers.
“The focus initially has been on those who have clinical roles or with high-risk risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease,” said Steve Pergam, medical director for infection prevention at SCCA.
Ninety-four UW Medicine staff, faculty and trainees had been tested for both the flu and COVID-19 as of Sunday, according to a statement from the health system. It was unclear Tuesday afternoon how many SCCA employees had been tested.
“It’s important to point out that while the employees tested so far at the drive-thru site have been negative for COVID, we are still seeing a fair amount of influenza in our clinic,” the UW Medicine statement said.