In partnership with UW Medicine and Harborview Medical Center, Highline College is now hosting COVID-19 testing on its Des Moines campus.
From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday, a mobile testing site will be located in the East parking lot (2400 S. 240th St., Des Moines, Wash.). While walk-up testing is available, those looking to get tested are encouraged to drive to the site where organizers will be equipped with personal protective equipment and will provide instructions for the test. The test is free to those who do not have health insurance, and organizers will work to develop a process to bill insurance for those that have it. Testing is available regardless of immigration status or age.
Already, more than 100 people in the community have been tested at the site, which began operating Aug. 12. A second testing site is also available at the Kent ShoWare Center for people who live in South King County.
In fact, officials say that helping the South King County community is at the heart of the decision to bring a testing site to Highline.
“Highline College microbiology students in spring 2020 had the idea to get more testing in South King County to help to address the dire issue of health inequity for communities of color in our region,” Highline College instructor Colleen Sheridan said. “With the expertise of the UW/Harborview Ambulatory Care team and the support of many state and local departments, we are able to bring this service to our Highline College campus.”
Sheridan teaches pre-allied health courses in the Life, Ocean and General Sciences department.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.”
With approximately 70 percent of Highline College students identifying as people of color, the new testing site has the potential to help some of King County’s most vulnerable populations.
“By bringing a COVID-19 testing site to Highline College, we are all helping to provide our community with greater access to health resources, and thus working to reduce the racial inequities in COVID-19 cases,” Sheridan said. “I am so proud to be part of the amazing teams at Highline that made this happen and I can’t wait to tell my students that it was their idea that became a reality and to work with them to find more ways to help.”
To learn more about COVID-19 testing, visit Public Health –– Seattle & King County.