As cases surge, ICHS brings first free high-volume COVID-19 test site to the Eastside

ICHS COVID-19 TESTING

International Community Health Services (ICHS) is bringing convenient, free COVID-19 testing to the Eastside. On Dec. 15, ICHS opens the first high-capacity COVID-19 test site on the Eastside at Bellevue College, expanding efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in east King County and along the I-90 corridor as local cases continue to spike. The test site is operated by ICHS and hosted by Bellevue College, with support from King County and the City of Bellevue.

People are strongly encouraged, but not required, to register for a testing appointment here. Testing is free and open to anyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Operating hours are Monday through Saturday, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

“We are so pleased to work with King County and the City of Bellevue to open this large-scale testing site serving the Eastside and its diverse community members,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “Expanded testing is to the benefit of all Eastside residents during this critical stage of the pandemic. ICHS multilingual staff and providers will play an important role making sure no one is left behind because of language or culture – and all of our friends, neighbors and family members are connected to much-needed health care and testing.”

“I thank International Community Health Services and Bellevue College for their assistance in setting up this new testing site on the Eastside,” said Dow Constantine, King County executive. “This holiday season, the greatest gift we can give our friends and loved ones – and ourselves – is good health and peace of mind. We must remain vigilant to bring this virus under control, and bring our community and economy back stronger than ever.”

The Eastside is home to a number of different language communities – 13.3% of households in Bellevue are limited English speaking compared to six percent of households overall in King County from 2014 to 2018. ICHS regularly provides free on-site and remote interpretation in over 50 languages and dialects at its clinics and its multilingual staff are experienced in meeting the needs of a diverse patient community. The Bellevue College testing site adds to drive-thru testing ICHS currently provides at its International District Medical-Dental Clinic in Seattle.

“It is through these strong partnerships from community providers like ICHS that makes these sites possible,” said Patty Hayes, director of Public Health – Seattle & King County. “ICHS has a long history of providing culturally relevant care and this expertise will be extremely valuable for the diverse language communities we hope will access this site.”

“The new, free testing site at Bellevue College will be a valuable resource for our diverse community, especially as we work together to minimize and ultimately overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lynne Robinson, City of Bellevue mayor. “I want to thank Public Health – Seattle & King County, Bellevue College and operator ICHS for their partnership and for making this testing site a reality. It is also critical that Bellevue residents continue to follow Public Health’s guidance; wear a mask, stay home when you can, avoid indoor gatherings, and quarantine and get tested if you feel sick.”

Getting there

The new test site is located at Bellevue College, 2645 145th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007. The entrance is on 148th Ave SE. Drive-thru and limited walk-up testing is available. The test site is available via the 221, 226, 228, 245, and 271 bus lines.

Support for isolation and quarantine

If you have COVID-like symptoms or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19, Public Health – Seattle & King County urges you to avoid contact with others and get tested immediately. Stay home and away from others while you are waiting for test results.

Anyone who tests positive should isolate immediately. For those without a safe place to do so, King County isolation and quarantine sites are available to help people through a difficult situation and reduce risk of transmission. This is especially important for those living with a family member who is elderly or medically fragile, or people experiencing homelessness. Call the King County COVID-19 Call Center (206) 477-3977 to see if isolation and quarantine services are right for you.

ICHS Clinics Receive 2020 Immunize Washington Awards

Immunize WA Award

Fifth consecutive year ICHS named Gold Level Provider

International Community Health Services (ICHS) has been recognized for its success protecting children through vaccination. All four of ICHS’s medical and dental clinics were honored with gold or silver level awards in the 2020 Immunize Washington Provider Recognition Program.

 

ICHS Clinic

Child Immunization Rates

Teen Immunization Rates

Holly Park

86%  Gold Medal

92% Gold Medal

Chinatown-International District

99% Gold Medal

93% Gold Medal

Shoreline

93% Gold Medal

82% Gold Medal

Bellevue

79%  Silver Medal

N/A   

“Immunizations provide a safe, proven defense to help parents make sure children grow up strong and healthy,” says Dr. Asqual Getaneh, ICHS chief medical officer. “They provide almost complete protection against serious diseases like measles, which still plagues some U.S. communities. Not only that, but getting vaccinated helps protect everyone, even those who are not vaccinated, by contributing to herd immunity and lowering the overall risk of infection.”

One component of ICHS’s success was proactive outreach efforts by Carmina Caoile, ICHS population health coordinator. Caoile made phone calls to ICHS patients and answered questions about cost. In Washington, youth younger than 19 can receive immunizations for free.

Caoile also represented ICHS at local health fairs to share educational materials and developed a ‘Super Kid’ incentive to make immunizations less scary. Young patients became an “ICHS Super Kid” after getting shots, complete with fun costumes, photos and certificates.

“Our young patients really enjoyed dressing up and posing for photos” Caoile shared. “Having a reward at the end motivated them to do their part to help fight disease.”

Research shows that healthcare professionals are the most trusted source of information for parents when it comes to vaccines for their children.

The full 2020 Immunize Washington awardee list can be found here. This year marks the fifth consecutive year that ICHS has achieved gold status.