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Nine more free COVID testing dates announced, starting in Hoquiam Wednesday

Nine more dates have been set for free COVID-19 testing in Grays Harbor County, starting Wednesday morning at Olympic Stadium in Hoquiam.

Through the first 13 days of the community based testing that began earlier this month through a partnership between the county’s response agencies and the Washington State National Guard, 1,500 people have been tested, according to a statement from Nicklaus Falley, information officer for Grays Harbor County Emergency Management and Public Health.

Falley said more testing has been performed than was expected, which has caused a delay in test results. The National Guard brings its own mobile testing lab with it, but can only process up to 80 a day. The remainder are sent to the state lab for analysis.

“Tests on site are now being prioritized and result times may vary,” said Falley. Tests analyzed on site can be ready in 24-48 hours, those sent to the state lab can take longer.

There will be four days of free testing at the Olympic Stadium east parking lot, followed by five days at the Grays Harbor County Fairgrounds parking lot in Elma.

Olympic Stadium: Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Oct. 29, 8 a.m. to noon; Oct. 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fairgrounds: Nov. 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to noon; Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov. 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Testing sites are open to anyone who needs or wants a COVID-19 test. People under the age of 18 are required to be accompanied by an adult. A valid phone number and address will be necessary, but no identification is required. No questions regarding immigration status will be asked. There are no public restrooms at test site locations. Support for testing is available in both English and Spanish at all locations. These sites will be both drive-through and walk-up with no appointment required.

Latest numbers

According to the state Department of Health coronavirus risk assessment dashboard, Grays Harbor County as of Friday had a rate of 109.2 newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population in the previous two weeks — 81 confirmed cases out of a population of 74,160. This is compared to the highest level recorded so far of 227.9 cases per 100,000 reported the two weeks between Sept. 8 and Sept. 21.

During the week prior to Thursday, the average daily testing rate in Grays Harbor County was just under 250. Of those tests, 3.9% returned positive.

According to state data, there were no newly hospitalized COVID-19 patients the week of Oct. 15-21. As of Friday, there were five COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county.