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Seattle launches two kiosks with free oral COVID-19 testing

A pilot program in Seattle implements two walk-up kiosks in Northgate and the Central District where people can get tested for COVID-19 using an oral swab.

SEATTLE — A coronavirus testing pilot program that uses oral swabs to collect patient samples is expected to launch in Seattle on Saturday.

The city will open two testing kiosks in the Northgate and Central District neighborhoods to serve walk-up clients. Clients must pre-register for appointments and can start signing up Friday evening, according to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office.

The pilot program is expected to increase the city’s testing capacity by more than 1,000 units per day. Before the pilot program, Seattle conducted upward of 6,000 tests daily.

The city will partner with Curative to operate the sites and walk clients through the testing process. According to Curative’s website, patients cough three to five times and swish spit around their mouths. The patient then swap inside their mouths themselves and leave the sample in a test tube.

Seattle’s other COVID-19 testing locations in North Seattle, West Seattle, Rainier Beach and SODO take a nasopharyngeal swab to confirm if adult patients have coronavirus. Children are swabbed in the front of their nasal cavity.

The testing at the two new kiosks, as well as Seattle’s other testing sites, is free to patients.

The kiosks will be located at the south end of the Northgate Community Center and east of the Garfield Community Center.

They will be open Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Starting Monday, the kiosks will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. However, the city noted hours may be adjusted based on demand.

Clients can expect results electronically within 48 hours.