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New COVID-19 community testing sites will open this week in downtown Spokane and Mead

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 26, 2022

Two lines of cars, one for those with appointments and one for those without, line up and snake through a large tent where people can be tested for COVID-19 on Jan. 3 in the parking lot at Spokane Falls Community College. Two new testing sites will soon open in Spokane County, one in downtown Spokane and the other in Mead.  (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
Two lines of cars, one for those with appointments and one for those without, line up and snake through a large tent where people can be tested for COVID-19 on Jan. 3 in the parking lot at Spokane Falls Community College. Two new testing sites will soon open in Spokane County, one in downtown Spokane and the other in Mead. (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)

Two new community COVID testing sites are set to open this week through a partnership between a company called Curative and the Spokane Regional Health District.

One site will be located at the Mead School District, and one will be downtown at the CHAS Denny Murphy site in an adjacent clinic parking lot.

The site at Mead Union Stadium, 12509 N. Market Street, is set to open on Thursday for drive-up and walk-up appointments, which you can schedule online. The site will be open Wednesdays through Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The CHAS Denny Murphy clinic testing site will be walk-up only in the parking lot to the west of the clinic. It’s set to open on Friday. This site will be open for walk-ins Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To make an appointment at the Mead Curative testing site, you can sign up at book.curative.com/sites/34561.

For the CHAS downtown Spokane site, you can make an appointment online at book.curative.com/sites/34562.

Residents are also welcome to drive up or walk up without an appointment, once the sites open, although appointments are encouraged.

Curative will be using PCR testing, and results will be available in one to two days.

The sites will be free to everyone, although if you have health insurance, you will be asked for those details.

Discovery Health, which operates the drive-through testing sites at Spokane Falls Community College and the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, will continue to operate and plans to expand dates and times in the future as well.

For more information about new testing sites and to book appointments starting later today, visit the health district’s community testing webpage.

The Inland Northwest is not yet at its omicron peak, as hospitalizations continue to rise. On Wednesday, inpatient capacity at Spokane hospitals was at 96% and ICU use was at 97%, Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velázquez told reporters.

And while omicron may mean a shorter hospital stay than with previous variants, the region’s emergency departments remain very stressed. That means patients are waiting for hospital beds in the emergency rooms due to the strain.

Outbreaks in long-term care facilities are also on the rise again. There are 55 facilities with confirmed cases as of January 20, and collectively these facilities are reporting 619 COVID cases among staff and residents. There are also seven adult family homes with 23 confirmed cases.

These outbreaks are a reflection of how omicron has spread locally, but Velázquez said booster doses have helped facilities weather the storm this time around.

“The rate of hospitalization, disease and mortality is extremely low compared to the beginning of pandemic when we didn’t have this population vaccinated,” he said.

Here’s a look at local numbers

The Spokane Regional Health District reported 1,309 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and three additional deaths.

There have been 1,189 deaths due to COVID-19 in Spokane County residents.

There are 193 COVID patients hospitalized in Spokane County.

The Panhandle Health District reported 224 new COVID cases and now has approximately 4,500 backlogged cases to confirm.

There are 100 Panhandle residents hospitalized with the virus, and Kootenai Health is treating 90 of them.

Both local health districts are still dealing with a vast influx of data and backlogged cases, leading to potentially misleading daily counts, and health officials encourage evaluating the overall trend instead.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new hours reflecting the accurate days and times for the new testing sites .

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.

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