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First US drive-thru coronavirus testing facility opens in Seattle

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Posted at 8:00 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-14 08:39:42-04

SEATTLE - The first drive-thru coronavirus testing facility in the United States opens in Seattle.

CBS News reports the fast food style drive-thru is coming to Washington, which has the second-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S.

The University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle can test 40 to 50 people a day with the drive-thru method, a CBS News affiliate reports.

The testing site is only available for employees and students, but it plans to expand the service to first responders, employees of nursing homes, and patients showing symptoms, CBS News reports.

According to CBS News, there are three tents in one of the parking garages on the campus. One tent holds cleaning supplies and the other two are used for scheduling and storing kits.

Drivers pull up outside of the tents to be tested as medical staff stand under heat lamps.

CNS News says the drive-thru method has been proven to be more efficient and prevents spreading the virus.

During the testing the driver rolls down their window and a medical worker wearing a protective suit swabs their nasal cavities, according to reports.

All samples are tested at the university labs.