In a sign the pandemic may be transitioning to endemic status, three COVID-19 testing locations in south King County in Washington state will be shutting down.
Public Health of Seattle & King County recently announced the last day of operation for the Federal Way and Tukwila testing sites will be May 27, and the last day of the Auburn testing site will be June 1.
“As King County COVID-19 case rates have fallen from the Omicron peak earlier this year, and as the availability of free rapid self-test and community testing options have increased, demand at King County COVID-19 test sites has significantly declined,” Public Health of Seattle & King County said in a May 6 statement.
According to the statement, Public Health is working with community partners to expand testing in the region, including potentially having them take over operations at the county’s existing sites.
Several testing sites are still available across King County.
“We are immensely grateful to all of the staff, volunteers and partners who worked so hard to get our testing sites up and running quickly and to the many clinics and pharmacies that have continued to provide testing services,” Dennis Worsham, interim director of Public Health, said in the announcement. “It is due largely to their hard work and dedication that we are now able to move on to the next phase of the pandemic with confidence.”
The next phase of the pandemic doesn’t necessarily mean the county is completely out of the woods yet.
“COVID-19 cases in @KingCountyWA have increased substantially since mid-March and hospitalizations have also started to increase – although to a much lesser degree,” Public Health tweeted on Thursday. “Please keep in mind our current recommendations for layered prevention measures.”
The message included a link to a YouTube video on how to limit the spread of the virus.
According to King County’s COVID-19 summary dashboard, there are currently 1,006 daily average cases, which is a 9% increase in the last seven days (7,039) from the prior seven days (6,448). There are currently 11 daily average hospitalizations due to the virus, a 6% decrease in the last seven days (74) from the prior seven days (79). On average, there are two COVID-19 deaths, which is a 69% increase in the last 14 days (22) from the previous 14 days (13).
This article was originally posted on Three COVID-19 testing sites in south King County to be shut down