Bainbridge Island will open its drive-thru COVID-19 rapid testing site at Town Square Nov. 4 in an effort to support public health goals and the reopening of schools and businesses.
The site, located next to City Hall at 280 Madison Ave. N, will be open by appointment only from 1-5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for anyone who has COVID symptoms, has been exposed to a confirmed case, has recently traveled and/or needs a test to return to work, a city news release says.
The testing site will not be open on Saturdays, as initially planned, to avoid any potential impacts on the Farmers Market schedule.
The news release says the site is expected to increase testing capacity on the island by approximately 80 per week. The schedule could be adjusted in the future based on demand.
“The community-based testing site is an important part of our community’s ability to ensure everyone has access to testing,” Emergency Management coordinator Anne LeSage said, grateful for the City Council’s OK.
Also, volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps and Bainbridge Prepares will help oversee the testing with support from LeSage and COVID-19 safety officer Chris Rubin. Testing site participants must make an appointment online at bainbridgewa.gov/COVIDtest. Arrangements will be made at the site to allow for testing for those without a car.
The city will work with the University of Washington Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology to process the tests. It is anticipated test results will take 24 to 48 hours. There is no cost to participants. If a person has health insurance then the provider will be billed for the cost. If a participant does not have insurance, a federal program will pay the cost.
The City Council approved up to $50,000 for six months of testing, which includes the cost of PPE, testing materials, information technology equipment and other supplies.