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CHAS will open drive-up COVID-19 testing at Spokane Arena on Sunday

CHAS Health is opening drive-up COVID-19 testing at the Spokane Arena, starting this Sunday.

People looking to access drive-up testing need to submit their information and estimated arrival time online before they go get tested.

Arena testing will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but patients must meet the testing criteria .

People with COVID symptoms, direct exposure to someone with the virus and nursing home employees can all receive testing at CHAS clinics and at the arena.

When patients arrive at the arena, they will need to call a number while they wait in their cars to complete check-in. They will be texted links to forms to fill out before they can get tested. There is an area for people with no access to a cellphone to complete registration.

After checking in, cars will be directed to testing lines.

Residents who have been exposed to the virus but do not have symptoms should be tested five to seven days after exposure. Quarantining after exposure to the virus is important as symptoms can take up to 14 days to show up.

Increased demand for testing could lead to longer wait times, possibly up to two or three hours, a news release from CHAS says.

CHAS is continuing to test residents for COVID-19 at their clinics on a first-come, first-served basis, but CHAS is asking residents seeking testing at the arena to first complete initial registration paperwork at home .

Test results are coming back one to three days later.

A drive-thru testing site at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center run by the Spokane Regional Health District closed months ago. In June, the fairgrounds testing site shut down, as community providers countywide opened testing at urgent care and respiratory clinics. CHAS clinics offered walk-up testing at several clinics for residents, including those with no health insurance.

At the time decentralizing testing from the fairgrounds was supposed to open up more options to county residents, especially those that could not get transportation to the fairground to be tested. Community clinics throughout the county offer testing now. Back in June, the incidence rate of COVID-19 in Spokane County was much lower, however, and with the fall surge in cases, demand for testing has grown significantly.

Here’s a look at local numbers:

This week the Spokane Regional Health District has confirmed 1,427 cases. On Friday, the district confirmed 325 new cases as well as an additional six deaths. This week, 19 deaths due to COVID-19 in Spokane County residents have been confirmed.

Hospitalizations continue to increase as well. On Monday, 115 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19. As of Friday, there are 136 patients receiving care for the virus in Spokane hospitals, and 101 of them are Spokane County residents.

The Panhandle Health District confirmed 1,285 new COVID-19 cases this week, and on Friday, they confirmed 333. Twelve Panhandle residents have died from the virus this week alone, bringing the total number of deaths to 124. There are 63 patients hospitalized at Kootenai Health receiving treatment for the virus.

Outbreaks in long-term care facilities continue in both the Inland Northwest and the Idaho Panhandle.

There are outbreaks in 29 facilities in north Idaho, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, which account for 523 COVID-19 cases in staff and residents and 63 deaths.

In Spokane County, there are active outbreaks in 23 facilities as of Nov. 24, accounting for 385 COVID-19 cases, additionally, there are 22 cases connected to six adult family homes. Thus far in the pandemic, deaths due to outbreaks at long-term care facilities account for 58% of the deaths in Spokane County from the virus, or 162 deaths.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is primarily funded by the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, with additional support from Report for America and members of the Spokane community. These stories can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.