Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is the latest airport to roll out COVID-19 testing for travelers.
Those flying out of SEA can now undergo "gold-standard" PCR lab testing prior to their flight thanks to a new pilot program launched on Wednesday.
During the pilot program running through January 31, 2021, Discovery Health MD will offer testing in the airport's central auditorium located pre-security on the mezzanine level above ticketing and the security checkpoints.
The testing, which is available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., is done by appointment and limited to ticketed passengers up to 72 hours prior to travel. The cost is $250 and results are delivered either the same or the next day.
In the event that a traveler does test positive, Discovery Health MD will notify them and advise self-isolation while also informing public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
"Our team is committed to your health and well-being as well as to being responsive to the evolving needs of travelers during the pandemic," SEA Managing Director Lance Lyttle said in a statement. "Offering COVID-19 testing at the airport is a critical step for restoring air travel and our economy. It is one part of our layered and comprehensive response that embrace the most effective methods proven to stop the spread of COVID-19."
"We are excited to bring COVID-19 testing services to SEA and offer travelers convenience, our proven experience, and consistent protocols that keep everyone safe," added Dr. Ann Jarris, CEO of Discovery Health MD. "Our testing helps travelers comply with state and country mandates for COVID-19 testing prior to travel. We utilize gold-standard PCR testing solutions with same and next-day turn-around-times."
The Port of Seattle plans to issue a competitive solicitation for a testing vendor who can offer COVID-19 testing after the pilot program expires next year.
The news came on the heels of the release of new guidance from the CDC that discourages the intermingling of households during holiday celebrations.