At the request of Kitsap County, Poulsbo City Hall will be converting its parking garage into a temporary COVID-19 testing site.
The county had originally set up a testing site at the Olympic College Poulsbo campus, but due to winter weather, it’s getting more difficult to conduct the testing safely.
“Kitsap Public Health has set up something at the OC campus here in town that isn’t working because of its lack of compatibility with our weather,” said Kim Hendrickson, Poulsbo’s director of Housing, Health and Human Services. “Tents are blowing, papers are blowing around, the staff is not comfortable.”
Kitsap Public Health approached Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson and Hendrickson about finding a space to conduct testing that kept staff out of the elements, especially as the county begins to see spikes in cases. Erickson offered up the City Hall garage, while Hendrickson and the county have been working out the logistics of how it will work.
“We are so eager to work with the county to get more testing opportunities out there because it’s going to be a rough winter with COVID, and we really would like these testing services to be available for North Kitsap residents,” Hendrickson said.
The plan is that Dec. 4 will be a trial day of testing at the City Hall garage and if it’s a success to offer testing at the site every Friday by appointment. The county initially wanted the city to have the site set up by Nov. 20, but the city was hesitant to commit to anything without approval from its lawyers.
“The plan is trusting that everything will go well, and we’ll just continue to do these tests every Friday as long as the county is able to stand it up with staffing and just continue on as long as there is still a need for it,” Hendrickson said.
Public parking at City Hall would be closed on those Fridays, though space would be available for city staff and employees.
“It shouldn’t contribute to any traffic or backup,” Hendrickson noted.
The garage can be accessed by turning left down the alley off of Iverson or Moe streets.
Kitsap County has 2,439 positive coronavirus cases as of Nov. 30. 407 of those cases were in North Kitsap.