A temporary change in policy for UW Medicine, who is the provider of the city’s COVID-19 testing site in West Seattle, among others. Starting Tuesday, testing at these sites will only be available to people with symptoms. Here is the announcement:
Starting January 4, 2022, UW Medicine will prioritize COVID-19 testing for people with appointments who have symptoms of respiratory illness or have known exposure to COVID-19. Testing for people without symptoms, including before and after trips or gatherings, will not be available due to the high volume of omicron cases being processed in our lab.
Since every positive sample must undergo additional testing, the recent increase in positive tests limits the total number of samples we can process. We apologize for this inconvenience and will continue to monitor testing capacity and adjust priority as this current wave of COVID-19 evolves.
Again, this affects UW Medicine’s community testing sites, including that of Nino Cantu South-West Sports Complex in West Seattle. At a press conference this morning, UW Medicine explained that with the additional testing required by positive samples, it can only process about half of its current volume in a timely manner. But they also say that could change quickly so they can start testing asymptomatic people again soon.