Free COVID-19 testing clinic in Vancouver to start next Tuesday

It will be open to walk-up and drive-through from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

VANCOUVER — Starting Tuesday (Jan. 12), people who want to get tested for COVID-19 can do so at a free clinic set up by the city of Vancouver, Clark County Public Health, the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, and the state Department of Health.

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Tents set up at the Tower Mall site in central Vancouver are ready for a no-barrier COVID-19 testing clinic scheduled to begin Tuesday. Photo by Mike Schultz

The no-barrier clinic will be at the former Tower Mall site along E Mill Plain Boulevard near MacArthur Blvd, and open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., for as long as the funding lasts.

It will be open for both walk-up or drive-through, and no insurance is required. Clark County Public Health is urging people who do have insurance to seek testing through their provider rather than using the no-barrier clinic, in order to preserve funding for people who otherwise couldn’t afford it.

The tests, which will be the more reliable PCR type, can actually be self-administered using a mouth swab, rather than the long nasopharyngeal swabs that go deep into the back of the nasal cavity.

The county’s Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick said at a Board of Health meeting last month that he expected the site would be able to do between 500 and 1,500 tests per day, with results in 24-36 hours.

More details were expected to be announced Monday at a press conference.

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The no-barrier COVID-19 testing site at the Tower Mall location along Mill Plain Blvd will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, starting Jan. 12. Photo by Mike Schultz
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