SEATAC, Wash. — Travelers passing through Sea-Tac International Airport now have a third option for onsite coronavirus testing. XpresCheck is a private company that’s now offering COVID-19 testing to travelers and staff.
But the convenience isn't cheap. The “Rapid Molecular COVID Test” costs $200.
It's available if passengers need to prove a negative test at their destination, or for travelers returning home to Seattle.
“It also gives people a lot of comfort after they have been traveling, when they come home, that they’re still negative,” said XpresCheck CEO Doug Satzman.
Passengers going through Sea-Tac can also purchase $179 mail-in coronavirus test kits from Hudson vending machines and stores.
“I think it would be very expensive to be tested before you leave and before you arrive and any exposure in between. You don’t know what your exposure is,” said Suzanne Selby of Port Orchard.
There's also testing through Discovery Health MD, by appointment or a limited number of walk-ins, for ticketed passengers up to 72 hours prior to travel.
That's three COVID-19 testing options at Sea-Tac as travel numbers reached a new peak on Easter weekend since the start of the pandemic.
Travel numbers are far from the pre-pandemic normal, but they are up significantly.
According to the TSA, 1,543,474 people passed through domestic checkpoints the Monday after this Easter. That's roughly 16 times more than this time last year when just 97,130 people traveled by air.
Crowds are expected to continue increasing along with vaccination rates.
“I just got my second dose and I feel everything is fine,” Selby continued.
Current CDC guidance calls for unvaccinated travelers to receive a test before and after traveling. Fully vaccinated passengers no longer need to test or quarantine.
The best advice is for travelers is to check with their airline about testing requirements at their destination, as international and state guidelines continue to evolve and change.