January 28, 2023


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Drive-Through Coronavirus Testing Offered in Seattle and Korea

2 min read

  • The University of Washington’s Northwest Hospital has figured out a novel way to get its health-care workers tested for coronavirus: a drive-through set up in a parking structure. Cities in South Korea have already been doing the same thing.
  • The drive-through format has a long history of making life easier for Americans, dating back to drive-up tellers at a Saint Louis bank in 1930, but the point here is more to keep people from infecting others in waiting rooms and hospital clinics.
  • Plus, the car as a mobile isolation unit? We like it.

    UPDATE 3/15/2020: The State of New York has launched drive-through testing for COVID-19, the coronavirus, as PBS reported on Saturday. The site is in a county park in Westchester County, north of New York City and it will prioritize citizens of New Rochelle, where the National Guard was called out last week to help with logistics of coronavirus containment. The six-lane drive-through will be able to process up to 200 tests per day, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who spoke with PBS.

    All over the world, but particularly in early coronavirus outbreak locations in the United States, people are fretting about how hard it is to get tested for COVID-19, popularly known as coronavirus. South Korea is testing people from a drive-through facility in Goyang, north of the capital Seoul, and the method is also happening in Germany, and now the same practice has been started up in Seattle.


    At the University of Washington, the test facility is set up in a parking structure, as shown above. People are able to be tested by means of a nasal swab in as little as five minutes, NPR reported, with results as soon as the next day. So far, testing is only for employees of the medical system who have symptoms such as a cough or a fever. NPR cited one of the testers as saying most people have been found to have colds or “regular” flu and only a few have been positive for coronavirus so far.


    JUNG YEON-JEGetty Images

    The photo above from Goyang, South Korea, shows medical workers set up in a public parking lot. Wearing protective suits and masks, they examine and test drivers right from the driver’s seats of their vehicles. The workers also check the drivers for fever or difficulty breathing. The Associated Press reported that other cities in Korea have also set up similar test facilities.

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