Staff and students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone with the virus may be tested for free at a drive-through COVID-19 testing site, which opened in early March.
The testing site is open from 8 a.m. until 12 noon weekdays at the Capital Region Education Service District 113 (ESD 113), 6005 Tyee Dr. S.W. in Tumwater.
Note: At this time, the free testing is open only to school and ESD staff and enrolled students. It is not available to family members, or the general community.
Participants are encouraged to pre-register online before arriving at the testing site. Parents/guardians who pre-register their student online will also be asked to fill out a permission slip that allows test results to be shared with their student’s school district. This form is available at Capital Region ESD 113’s website and at the testing site.
- To pre-register visit the ESD 113 website and use your school specific registration link.
- COVID-19 tests will be processed by the Curative lab. The lab will contact participants by email or text with test results in approximately 3 days.
- Please do not report to work or in-person learning/activities if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and awaiting your results.
Who can be tested?
- The test is available to students and staff — both those learning remotely and those learning in person on school campuses.
- The test used at the site is most effective in people who are being tested for COVID-19 within 14 days of the onset of symptoms. View COVID-19 symptoms on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
- The test is recommended for ages 4 and up. If you are under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must accompany you to the test.
- The test is available regardless of citizenship/immigration status.
- Participants do not need to have health insurance to be tested, and no one will receive a bill for their test. If you have health insurance and provide that information, the lab will bill your insurance for the cost of testing.
- People who do not meet the above criteria but want to be tested for COVID-19 should contact their health care provider or one of the testing locations on the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) website.
What to expect at the testing site
- Do not eat, drink, chew gum, use mouthwash or smoke once you have arrived at the site. Doing these activities within 20 minutes of your test could affect your results.
- You must wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when visiting the site.
- This is a self-swab testing site. The entire process takes about 10-20 minutes to complete.
- This is an oral saliva test; participants should not experience any discomfort. Participants are given instructions on how to properly swab their mouths to administer the test under observation while in their vehicles.
- Go to the ESD 113 website to review FAQs and watch a video on the testing process.
- The site is a drive-through location only.
What happens if a student or staff member develops COVID-19 symptoms after their arrival at school?
- Students will proceed to the Isolation Room. School staff will call a parent. The school health professional will offer the COVID-19 test for the student once the parent arrives and provides written permission.
- Staff will notify their supervisor and leave campus (follow the flowchart protocols).
The free diagnostic testing is made possible as part of “Learn to Return” — a state-funded program in collaboration between the Gates Foundation, Washington State Department of Health, state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Curative, and the non-profit Health Commons Project. The program is designed to keep students and staff as safe and healthy as possible regardless of whether they are in remote or in-person learning.
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