Gates Foundation to help with virus testing in Seattle

The Peninsula Daily News site has lifted the paywall on this developing story to provide readers with critical information. To support vital reporting such as this, please consider a digital subscription.

SEATTLE — The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced it will begin offering home-testing kits for people in the Seattle area for the new coronavirus in the coming weeks.

The Seattle Times reports in a story on Sunday that it’s not clear when the project will launch, but it’s ramping up as quickly as possible. Seattle has become the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, with 14 deaths linked to a Seattle-area nursing home.

People who think they’ve been infected can fill out a questionnaire online and request a test kit if their symptoms are consistent with the illness the virus causes. The kits will be delivered within two hours and include nose swabs.

The samples will be sent to a lab at the University of Washington for testing, and results should be available in a few days. The home-testing kits mean people won’t have to go to a doctor’s office and possibly infect other people.

The online forms will also allow infected people to answer questions about their movements and contacts so that health officials can find others who might need to be tested and determine hot spots.

Scott Dowell, leader of coronavirus response at the foundation, said the lab will be able to conduct about 400 tests a day, but will eventually expand to thousands a day.

The foundation is known for fighting diseases around the globe, and has developed expertise in the field.

“One of the most important things from our perspective, having watched and worked on this in other parts of the world, is the identification of people who are positive for the virus, so they can be safely isolated and cared for, and the identification of their contacts, who can then be quarantined,” Dowell said.

More in News

Seattle hospital to refuse some patients due to capacity

Harborview Medical Center in Seattle will temporarily… Continue reading

PHOTO BY: Susan Doupé
CAPTION: Priya Jayadev is the new executive director for Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.
New executive director for Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County

Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County has hired Supriya “Priya” Jayadev as its… Continue reading

Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News
The Port Townsend City Council seeks to sell the Cherry Street property that had been barged over from Canada  five years ago to become affordable housing.
Port Townsend aims to sell Cherry Street housing project

Stalled for years, affordable housing project all but adandoned

Layla Franson, 15, and Jackson, her 10-year-old Quarter Horse, are competing in 4H at the Jefferson County Fair this weekend. Like many counties across the state, Jefferson County has seen a decline in the numbers of youths enrolled in 4H after the COVID lockdown and is actively seeking to reboot its program. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)
Jefferson County Fair back after two-year hiatus

4H looks for bounceback after restrictions eased

Housing, opioids topics at county meetings

Meetings across Clallam, Jeffersom counties

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Fair Queen Allison Pettit, front, and Queen's Court Sophia Lawson, shown on Aug. 6 on their parade float in the Joyce Daze Wild Blackberry Festival, will preside over the Clallam County Fair starting on Thursday in Port Angeles.
Clallam County Fair back in 2022

Four days of grandstand events, music, food and fun start Thursday

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Scaffolding covers a section of the sidewalk in the 100 block of West First Street to support workers as they upgrade the the facade on Lee Plaza.
Affordable housing units get upgrades

Scaffolding in downtown Port Angeles evidence of one of several PHA projects

Lower Dungeness: Towne Road and Levee Trail closed

Towne Road and the adjacent Dungeness Levee Trail are currently… Continue reading

Most Read