COVID-19 mobile testing unit now available to Tri-Cities community
KENNEWICK, Wash. — A mobile, COVID-19 testing unit is now available to serve the Tri-Cities and surrounding regions.
Lynx Healthcare, which serves the Pacific Northwest and has an office in Kennewick, launched the new unit Wednesday.
A few years ago they had established a molecular lab, not realizing the timing would be so fortuitous. Lynx has been using that resource to conduct COVID-19 testing since the pandemic started but recently, they decided to take it a step further and make it more accessible.
“We had this crazy idea,” said Ian Evans, CEO of Lynx Healthcare. “We’re going to bring this mobile clinic to businesses and have a fleet of them.”
They now have two mobile units and are in the process of ordering more.
COVID-19 testing will be conducted at the mobile units which have the ability to travel around the state. Samples will be properly stored before going to a centralized lab. Within four hours of arriving at the lab, Evans said they will have results. They also have incorporated robotics into their lab to increase accuracy and capacity.
Lynx Healthcare is recognized by the Washington Department of Health as a gold standard COVID-19 lab as well as being CLIA certified and CAP accredited. In fact, the lab director at Lynx is a CAP-accredited auditor himself.
“Because of that connection we have with the actual agency that certifies labs, we’ve been able to not only get our hands on the right products but the best products and a high quantity of those products,” said Evans. “So we can keep the testing local which increases accuracy, decreases human error and allows for results a lot faster.”
They are capable of testing around 20,000 people per week, and are hoping to increase that number. Evans compared their capability to “instant,” lateral flow tests that are being marketed. He said those results are quick but you are limited in how quickly you can conduct them.
“Our robots can do the work for 20 employees for each robot, and we have a number of them.”
For those that would like to be tested but don’t have a lab order from their doctor, they can be screened online.
“Our goal is to make this as easy as Amazon Prime,” said Evans.
Through their online portal, a person can schedule a screening to see if they qualify and if the testing is covered by insurance. If approved, they can look at the calendar online to see where the mobile unit is located on a specific day.
Businesses, government agencies or schools can also request a mobile unit to come right to their parking lot.
“Who needs us to bridge that gap and how can we help,” said Evans. “That’s ultimately the drive – whatever it may be just to get people back to either normal or the “new normal.”
To set up an appointment or see the mobile unit schedule, click here.
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