The Greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) provides free at-home testing for COVID-19 in King County, and it’s an easy process you can do yourself in the comfort and privacy of your own home:
EDITOR’S NOTE: I utilized this great free service myself and conducted my own nasal swab test in July (luckily I tested negative).
It was very efficient, professional and private from start to finish, and included free at-home delivery and pickup, along with easy-to-follow instructions.
Test results came back via email/web within 24 hours.
Unfortunately, my sister and her fiancé both tested positive, and have been battling COVID-19 since July 22, both suffering with different symptoms. I know firsthand from following this pandemic as a journalist from the start, as well as having a close relative fighting it that it is indeed very real, and very dangerous, with the potential for long-term health complications. So wear your flippin’ mask!
– Scott Schaefer, Founder/Publisher/Editor
Visit SCAN’s website at the link here to enroll and request a nasal swab kit. If possible, a kit will be delivered to your door in about 24 hours. Note that daily availability is limited.
Since launching on March 23, SCAN has tested more than 25,000 samples from across the county, and identified 390 cases of COVID-19. The results of these tests help to understand the coronavirus outbreak more completely and, along with other data sources, help inform public health decisions. Individual information will remain secure and will never be made publicly available.
SCAN recently launched a data dashboard at https://scanpublichealth.org/dashboard. The dashboard provides a publicly accessible, up-to-date snapshot of how many SCAN kits have been delivered, where they have been delivered, the rate of COVID-19 positives among SCAN participants, and demographic information about SCAN participants.
Additionally, in the recent technical report and blog post published Aug. 4, SCAN released several findings:
- Participants who report symptoms of COVID-like illness are more likely to test positive. Acute loss of sense of smell or taste (anosmia) is the strongest single predictor of COVID-19 infection in our data, with 8.4% of participants reporting the symptom testing positive for COVID-19. Other symptoms related to testing positive included eye pain (3.7% reporting the symptom tested positive), feeling feverish (3.3%), chills or shivering (3.2%), sweats (2.9%), and muscle aches/myalgia (2.3%).
- Although SCAN participants who report having known or suspected contact with someone infected with COVID-19 have a higher risk of testing positive, a large proportion of SCAN participants who test positive for COVID-19 report that they are unaware of having recently been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
- Improvements in SCAN’s delivery and lab processing logistics have reduced the average time between enrollment in SCAN and return of results to about 48 hours. Seeking testing and avoiding exposure to others as soon as symptoms appear is extremely important to prevent spread of the virus.
- While mask usage has increased over time, rates appears to be stalling below universal compliance. Trading social distancing for mask use is counterproductive for COVID-19 prevention. The best way to protect each other when we must go out is to maintain at least six feet of distance from others and to always wear a mask.
How It Works
Whether you’re healthy or sick, you or a family member may be able to support SCAN’s research by collecting your own nasal swab at home and returning it to us. We won’t be able to take samples from everyone, and one of our main goals is to use our testing resources to understand how children, high-risk and underrepresented communities are being impacted by the virus. Those who take part will help our researchers and local public health leaders learn more about coronavirus and how to slow its spread.
- Click below to answer a few questions, starting with your ZIP code.
- If possible, we’ll send a free swab kit to your home.
- Follow the directions in the kit, including how to return it to us.
- Your swab will be tested for a current COVID-19 infection. If your results show you may have coronavirus, you will be contacted by our research team. If your swab results show you likely do not have coronavirus, you will not be directly contacted. All study participants will be able to access their test results on our Results page.
- SCAN’s free home collection kits offer a fast testing option—from online enrollment to delivery, pickup, and testing and return of results takes an average of 48 hours—for people who may not feel comfortable visiting a health clinic among other sick people, or who may not have health insurance or access to a clinic.
- SCAN kits are delivered and picked up from people’s doors, making it easy to test an entire household through the program. The swabs, which are swirled within the main part of the nostril, may be more comfortable for small children than clinician-administered nasopharyngeal swabs, which are inserted into the cavity behind the nostril. The self-collection process is simple, safe and effective.