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UW expands drive-up coronavirus testing for non-employees

UW Medicine patients and first responders can get tested with an appointment at the drive-up clinic.

SEATTLE — University of Washington Medicine has expanded its drive-up clinic for coronavirus to now include non-employees.

Initially, this type of clinic was created to screen UW Medicine employees suspected of being infected. Now, it’s available as an appointment-only clinic for UW Medicine patients and coronavirus first responders.

Patients with a drive-up clinic appointment will arrive at the screening area and remain in their cars while a swab is taken from both nostrils.

UW Medicine said there are several benefits to this procedure, including convenience and limiting exposure to a potentially infected patient.

RELATED: Real-time updates: Coronavirus deaths and cases in Washington state

After the testing is done, the patient will receive follow up instructions and how to get their results. 

It’s expected that the drive-up clinic will screen 50 people a day. 

The testing is taking place at the UW Medicine-Northwest campus in Northgate.

What are coronavirus symptoms?

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or colds. Symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

The severity of symptoms ranges significantly. Some cases are very mild with symptoms similar to the common cold, and some cases are more like severe pneumonia that require hospitalization.

Most deaths have been reported in older adults who had other health conditions, according to DOH.

Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after being exposed to the coronavirus or as long as 14 days.

Washington state call center has been set up to answer your questions about COVID-19. If you have questions about how the virus spreads, what is being done in Washington state, and what you can do if you have symptoms, call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.