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Community COVID-19 Test Site Closing on January 28, 2023

Hospital news | Tuesday, January 3, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 3, 2023 Contact: Bridget Turrell, Memorial Communications, 509-575-8116

YAKIMA — The community COVID-19 test site operated by Yakima Valley Memorial, Signal Health, and the University of Washington at 1211 N 16th Avenue in Yakima will close on January 28, 2023. The demand for COVID testing has dropped to fewer than 100 tests a week and continues to trend down.

This community COVID-19 test site operated out of three locations since October of 2020. First, State Fair Park, then Yakima Valley College, and finally the location at 1211 N 16th Ave. During this time the site received funding from the Yakima Health District, The Washington State Department of Health, and since August of 2021, the University of Washington and Yakima Valley Memorial.

The bilingual test team administered over 136,000 COVID-19 tests during this time with positivity rates as high as 50% on some days. On January 21, 2022 they tested over 800 patients, which was their busiest day. Patient surveys showed a 4.83 out of 5-star rating for their customer service during this time.

“COVID-19 testing was an important strategy during the pandemic. We learned that low-barrier/no cost testing works. Community testing as a public health strategy kept people from flooding clinics and the hospital for tests that are easily administered, with results available directly to the patient as quickly as the next day. Knowing your COVID-19 status meant people knew when to isolate and slow the spread,” said Michael Vachon, test site supervisor.

Rapid antigen home tests are still available from the Federal and State governments while supplies last.
The Yakima Health District lists sites offering COVID-19 testing: