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Second COVID mass testing site in the works for Spokane County

Senado Federal, via Flickr/Creative Commons

A second mass COVID testing site is still in the works for eastern Spokane County. The site is intended to complement one that opened this week at Spokane Falls Community College. The second site was to be located at Spokane Community College, east of downtown. But Spokane Regional Health District health officer Dr. Francisco Velazquez said Wednesday his department and private contractor Discovery Health are now looking at sites in Spokane Valley.

“Looking at geography, the one at the Falls gave us great access all the way to Cheney and beyond. And as we looked east, we didn’t have the same coverage all the way to the valley and beyond," Velazquez told reporters. "So that’s why we decided to move a little bit further east.”

Velazquez says not just any parking lot or open space will do.

“It’s not that simple to find a site that has great access from roads, highways, but very importantly, great access from public transportation. Because we want it to be available to all,” he said.

The second mass testing site may open within a week to ten days. Discovery Health is contracted to operate the two testing sites through at least the end of the year. After that, Velazquez said, health officials will look at available funding and demand to decide whether the sites stay open longer.

Brandon Hollingsworth is your All Things Considered host. He has served public radio audiences for fifteen years, primarily in reporting, hosting and interviewing. His previous ports-of-call were WUOT-FM in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Alabama Public Radio. His work has been heard nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here and Now and NPR’s top-of-the-hour newscasts.