City of Vancouver and Clark County Public Health announce plans for COVID-19 testing site


The City of Vancouver, Clark County Public Health and Clark Regional Emergency Services Agencies (CRESA) have partnered with the Washington State Department of Health and the nonprofit organization Health Commons Project to open a COVID-19 rapid testing site. The site is expected to open in early January of 2021 in the Tower Mall parking lot (5411 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver) and operate for several months. The site will have no-barriers for entry.

The Tower Mall site was selected for its centralized location and proximity to multiple bus lines. It will operate using a model that has seen success in other communities throughout Washington state and will return test results within 36 to 48 hours.

The site is expected to operate multiple days a week, and anticipated operating hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Testing will be free for everyone regardless of income level, immigration status or insurance coverage. No one will receive a bill for testing. However, those who do have health insurance will be asked to provide that information so their insurance can be billed.

The site will be maintained, managed and operated day-to-day by the City of Vancouver. City staff working at the testing site will wear appropriate personal protective equipment and follow physical distancing requirements. Site and staffing costs are primarily covered by the Washington State Department of Health.

The COVID-19 test used at the Tower Mall site will be a self-administered oral saliva PCR test. Staff will have minimal interaction with visitors to the site, and individuals seeking testing will be handed a swab and asked to rub the swab on the inside of their cheeks. The site will offer drive-through and walk-up testing. Those using the drive-through service will remain in their vehicles. The walk-up area will have signs to ensure physical distancing. Advanced registration will be encouraged, but drop-in testing will also be available.

“Testing is an important strategy for slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Clark County Health Officer and Public Health Director Alan Melnick said in a news release. “We can reduce the amount of virus spreading from one person to another by quickly identifying and isolating COVID-19 cases and notifying their close contacts to quarantine.”

“We are committed to getting the Tower Mall COVID-19 testing site up and running quickly,” Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes said. “Increased access to testing is a key factor in slowing the spread of coronavirus in our community. I’m grateful for this coalition of local and statewide partners who are making it possible for us to safely and efficiently provide this valuable service in Vancouver.”


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