Vancouver no barrier COVID-19 testing site averaging 150 people a day

The site at Tower Mall is expected to remain open for at least a couple more months

VANCOUVER – In the first month of operation, 4,648 people received free COVID-19 tests at the Tower Mall COVID-19 Community Testing Site.

The testing site opened on Jan. 12 and operates five days a week. On opening day, 375 people were tested for COVID-19 – the highest number of tests administered in one day.

People can drive through or walk up to the Tower Mall no-barrier COVID-19 testing site in Vancouver. Photo by Mike Schultz
People can drive through or walk up to the Tower Mall no-barrier COVID-19 testing site in Vancouver. Photo by Mike Schultz

Testing at the site is recommended for people 4 years and older who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

During the first month, 11.5 percent of people who have been tested at the site have received positive test results. That’s higher than the most recent countywide positivity rate of eight percent during the week of Jan. 24-30. A higher test positivity rate is expected because the Tower Mall site is primarily testing people who have symptoms or who have been exposed COVID-19.

“The Tower Mall site has removed barriers for COVID-19 testing in our community by offering free testing for everyone without requiring a visit with a health care provider,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director.

The Tower Mall COVID-19 Community Testing Site features drive-thru and walk-up testing and is available at no cost to everyone, regardless of income level, health insurance coverage or immigration status.

The site is open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday in the Tower Mall parking lot, 5403 E Mill Plain Blvd. The first couple hours of operation are often the busiest.

Visitors are encouraged to pre-register for testing and sign-up for an arrival time at www.ClarkCountyCOVIDTesting.org, but on-site registration also is available. Face coverings are required for everyone, including those using the drive-thru testing option.

Visitors to the site self-administer the COVID-19 test under the observation of a trained staff member. The site uses an oral saliva PCR test, and visitors shouldn’t experience any discomfort from the testing process. Visitors cough deeply three to five times and swab the inside of their mouths for 20 seconds. Results are expected within three days.

The site is expected to operate for several months. COVID-19 vaccine is not available at the Tower Mall testing site.

The test site is made possible through a partnership between Clark County Public Health, city of Vancouver, Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA), Washington State Department of Health and Curative.

Information provided by Clark County Public Health

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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