SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle COVID-19 testing sites created over the coronavirus pandemic have administered one million tests since operations began in 2020, officials said.
Mayor Jenny Durkan said Tuesday in a news release that the free testing has been used by more than one in three Seattle residents.
“We worked quickly to launch a nation-leading free testing program to curb the spread of the virus and keep our communities healthy and safe, and Seattle continues to have the lowest cases, hospitalizations, and deaths of every major American city,” Durkan said.
She said the city’s partners at UW Medicine have seamlessly taken over the operation of the testing sites.
With the rise of highly contagious delta variant, Durkan urged people to keep wearing a mask, washing hands, and getting tested if symptoms or exposure occurs.
“If you or someone you know is not yet vaccinated, please get vaccinated. It’s safe, it’s free, and it’s the surest way to prevent the Delta variant from spreading further in our communities,” she said.
Seattle continues to have the lowest cases, hospitalizations, and deaths of every major American city, according to the mayor.
Testing demand has increased in the last 60 days, according to the news release.
The Seattle Fire Department began testing first responders on March 14, 2020, and one month later, began testing residents and workers in long-term care facilities. The department launched its public COVID-19 testing infrastructure on June 5, 2020.