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.

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.

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