Health officials to distribute 20,000 virus test kits

Drive-through testing
A nurse takes samples during a drive-through coronavirus test. (UW Medicine Photo)

Update: These test kits were recalled due to quality control concerns.

To address a worrisome gap in testing for coronavirus, Seattle-King County public health officials say they’ll be distributing more than 20,000 test kits, prioritized for first responders, health care workers and people in high-risk settings such as long-term care facilities and homeless shelters.

The University of Washington School of Medicine is donating 20,000 kits, Public Health – Seattle & King County said today in a blog post.

The Seattle Flu Study, which is partnering with public health officials to track the spread of the outbreak, will make 2,000 of its self-swab kits available to long-term care facilities as part of a study focusing on the virus’ prevalence among health care workers. Seattle Flu Study’s team will also be providing tests to about 100 residents at homeless shelters each week as part of a separate study.

Another 1,000 kits will be made available locally by the Washington State Department of Health for testing emergency medical service providers.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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