Testing will be available on the Pullman campus beginning this week for WSU students who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID‑19 or are experiencing any symptoms associated with the highly contagious disease.
A mobile unit operated by Range Health, the nonprofit academic healthcare network led by executives from the colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, will arrive Wednesday, Sept. 2. It will stay on campus for three days as part of the University’s push to expand testing capacity as the number of COVID‑19 cases continues to climb.
The William A. Crosetto Mobile Health Care Unit will provide diagnostic COVID-19 testing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. It will set up in the Greek Row area alongside the President’s House at 755 NE Campus St. WSU officials anticipate the unit will be able to accommodate up to 80 patients per day
“Our presence in Pullman highlights WSU’s capacity to function as an effective network that leverages the resources of all of its campuses and extension offices,” said Michaelle Guerrero, the manager of the mobile health care unit. “We’re flipping the existing healthcare model by moving away from the huge overhead associated with large physical locations and instead nimbly responding to the pressing health needs of rural and underserved communities.”
Students don’t need to call ahead for appointments but should bring their health insurance information, and follow state and local health mandates, including use of face coverings.
“People will need to be mindful of traffic flow as well as maintaining appropriate physical distancing as our clinicians discuss testing options with patients in their cars or those who present on foot as walk-ins,” Guerrero said. The mobile unit has the ability to continue operating past 3 p.m. each day in Pullman if needed.
Volunteers representing each of the University’s health science colleges will be on hand to answer students’ questions and collect samples, which will be processed by WSU’s One Health Diagnostic Laboratory in partnership with Incyte Diagnostics.
The mobile unit is designed to help bridge services until the anticipated launch of a fixed testing site on the Pullman campus that will be operated by Cougar Health Services. That site is expected to be operational following the Labor Day weekend.
Meanwhile, the Washington National Guard also is making arrangements to begin providing additional testing capacity in Pullman after Labor Day. Details for the deployment still are being worked out, and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
Since launching in October 2019, Range Health has sent its mobile health care unit to ten counties across eastern Washington state, orchestrated street medicine programs and is currently developing telehealth options.