Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3...
Posted on 06/18/2020

You’ve heard a lot about testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing capacity is one of the factors considered by the state in deciding when counties can move forward in the Safe Start Washington plan.

Early in the crisis, COVID-19 testing was extremely limited and only the very sickest people could be tested. Those restrictions have eased as more supplies have become available, labs have increased testing capacity, and more health care facilities are offering tests. And new option this week has made testing even more accessible.

Free drive-through testing is now available to anyone in the community who believes they should be tested because they have COVID-19 symptoms or they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. The Health District, in conjunction with the Army National Guard, WA State DOH, Benton County Emergency Management, and Franklin County Emergency Management, offers testing at the Toyota Center in Kennewick and HAPO Center in Pasco. The sites are open Tuesdays through Fridays from 8 am to 1 pm by appointment only.  Please call 2-1-1 for appointment. Medical orders are not needed.


Public Health urges people with any of the following symptoms to contact a health care provider or testing site right away: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. Furthermore, if you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should also be tested.

 “A lot of us aren't in the habit of calling the doctor when we have a cough or mild symptoms,” said Dr. Amy Person, Health Officer for Benton-Franklin Health District.

“Contact your health care provider to discuss testing. We're relying on you to help slow the spread of disease to your family, friends, and community."


Testing of and tracking COVID-19 is a vital step toward healing these and all communities. If you are experiencing symptoms or took part in recent gatherings where you could not safely distance yourself from others, it’s time to get tested.


Under state and federal law, all COVID-19 testing should be free for anyone. Under Washington law, insurance companies cannot charge co-pays for COVID-19 testing.

For more information about COVID-19 testing, visit Benton-Franklin Health District testing webpage.