The Providence/Thurston County COVID-19 drive through testing site continues to hit daily capacity

This week, community members have experienced wait times as long as 4-5 hours.


As the community spread of COVID-19 increases in Thurston and surrounding counties, the Providence/Thurston County COVID-19 drive through testing site, located at Providence Medical Group Hawks Prairie, is feeling the impacts.

This week, community members have experienced wait times as long as 4-5 hours. On Nov. 9, the site managers had to turn community members away – by 11:30 a.m. the site had more than 200 cars waiting and had hit the capacity for testing capabilities for the day.

“Providence is here for your healthcare needs. Come to the testing site if you are feeling symptomatic or have a COVID-19 exposure,” said Dr. Kevin Caserta, Chief Medical Officer for Providence Southwest Washington, “But understand our caregivers are providing the very best care possible, and wait times may be long as the COVID-19 virus continues to be rampant in our community. Please do everything you can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask, maintain the appropriate social distancing, and frequent hand hygiene is more important than ever.”

“COVID-19 is prevalent in our community,” said Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek, Thurston County Public Health Officer. “It is imperative members of our community continue to refrain from social gatherings, wear masks that cover the nose and mouth, stay at least six feet apart from non-household members, and use proper hand hygiene. We need to take special caution of gathering in groups during the upcoming holiday season.”

Since March 20th, when the drive-through site began operations, more than 25,000 individuals have been tested. Administrators of the testing site are looking into adding contracted labor to enable the site to expand daily hours and include weekends.

The drive through testing site is a partnership between Providence and Thurston County Department of Health and Social Services. The site offers drive-thru triage, and if needed, swab collection for COVID-19 testing for symptomatic patients and patients who will be having a procedure or surgery at Providence St. Peter Hospital. The drive through testing site is located at 2555 Marvin Road NE in Lacey.

Tests are processed by LabCorp and it takes an average of 2 days for a patient to receive results. As COVID-19 levels continue to surge, lab capacity may be impacted, thus resulting in longer wait times for results. Dr. Abdelmalek said, “If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and you are getting tested, stay home while you await your results. Do not go to work, school, or other public places.”

Current drive-through hours of operation: Weekdays 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This article was provided by Thurston County and Providence Southwest Washington. 


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