Inside a Seattle police warehouse just south of downtown, next to a bomb-squad truck and parking-enforcement vehicles, a 6-foot wide rectangle has been marked with yellow tape on the concrete floor.
Inside the rectangle — the potential exposure area — an EMT in a hooded Tyvek suit with a filtered gas mask wields a long nasal swab, ready to take samples from drivers who pull into the warehouse but never leave their car. Every driver who pulls in is either a police officer, firefighter, medic or dispatcher.
This, according to the City of Seattle, is the first COVID-19 testing site in the country dedicated to first responders.
It’s part of a push by the city to ensure the region’s police, firefighters and ambulance drivers will be able to continue to do their jobs, even as the disease continues to spread.