Omicron leads UW Medicine to prioritize at testing sites

December 30, 2021

Omicron leads UW Medicine to prioritize at testing sites

Beginning Jan. 4, 2022, UW Medicine will prioritize COVID-19 nasal swab tests for people with appointments who have symptoms of respiratory illness or who have a known exposure to COVID-19.

Testing for people without symptoms, including before and after travel or gatherings, will not be available due to the high volume of omicron cases being processed in the Virology Laboratory.  Because each positive sample must undergo additional testing, the recent surge in positive tests limits the total number of samples that can be processed in timely fashion, explained Dr. Geoff Baird, UW Medicine's acting chair of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. 

Nine UW Medicine COVID-19 testing locations remain open in Seattle and King County. The Ballard, City Hall, and Sammamish community sites operated by UW Medicine in collaboration with the City of Seattle and King County will close temporarily because of capacity limitations.

UW Medicine regrets any hardship that this change might pose to community members. We will continue to monitor testing capacity and adjust prioritization as this current surge of COVID-19 evolves, Baird said.

Find UW Medicine's current COVID-19 test site locations and hours of operation.


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