High demand of COVID-19 tests forces closure of Kittitas Valley Healthcare testing site


ELLENSBURG, Wash. — As the demand for COVID-19 testing skyrockets in weeks following the 2021 holiday season, Kittitas County healthcare leaders don’t have the supplies they need to meet current demand.

According to a flash alert from Kittitas County Public Health, one of the county’s leaders in coronavirus vaccinations and testing has received one-sixth of the amount of COVID tests that the community demands right now.

Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH) learned on Tuesday, January 25 that its supply of COVID-19 tests had run out. It was allocated 100 tests per week with an average demand of 600 patients in that span.

RELATED: Kittitas County Public Health sees record number of COVID-19 cases

Therefore, KVH must prioritize its COVID tests for patient care and will stop offering COVID-19 testing to the public at this time. During the time KVH operated its testing site, 44,445 tests were performed across nearly 700 days of operating.

“Everyone at the Kittitas County Public Health Department is incredibly thankful for Kittitas Valley Healthcare’s response,” states Director Tristen Lamb.  “Our small county has had efficiency and access unlike others because KVH stepped in to help. KVH has not only provided 44,445 tests, but they led the vaccination efforts and coordinated hundreds of volunteers in addition to their primary duties of hospital care for patients during a pandemic.”

READ: Yakima testing site shuts down after company faces fraud allegations

Public health officials offered the following suggestions for community members through this portion of the pandemic:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Get tested if you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you are unable to test, please stay home and follow COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Wear a proper face covering.
  • Be aware of who is most at risk of COVID-19.
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccination if you are 5 years of age and older.
  • Get a COVID-19 booster if you are 12 years of age and older.

There are still plenty of other places to get tested, as outlined by the Washington Department of Health (click here to view your options).

READ: Oregon Zoo and scientists unveil a new plan to save the polar bears