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The COVID-19 crisis helped kill a Capitol Hill shop — Now, a rapid testing center has replaced it

(Image: Sameday Testing)

36-year-old Capitol Hill consignment shop Take 2 shuttered in the middle of the 15th Ave E commercial strip earlier this year, a victim of the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis. The empty space neighboring a Rudy’s Barbershop and iconic neighborhood store ShopRite has now gone into motion with a new, hopefully short-term tenant.

Signs are up and workers are now busy with new customers at a new Sameday Testing Capitol Hill pop-up.

“When the pandemic hit, Sameday Testing CEO and Co-Founder Felix Huettenbach recognized the need for a simplified testing experience,” the company said in its recent announcement of expanded locations and services.

The company says its “innovative scheduling tool and software solutions, which were custom-built by four MIT software engineers, integrate with local laboratories and help clients easily view appointments at the testing center most convenient to them.”

“We must grow faster than the virus to beat it — this is our ethos,” Sameday Testing COO and co-founder Max Oscar Oehme says in the press release.

Run by Venice, California parent company Praesidium Diagnostics, the Sameday clinics are part of a wave of private sector ventures hoping to profit off the ongoing pandemic — and meet growing demand.

Sameday says it offers fast turnaround on results. For $195 at the Seattle 15th Ave E location you can get 36 hour results for PCR testing, the so-called “molecular” testing considered more accurate by experts. For $175, the company offers the 15-minute — probably better than flipping a coin? —  rapid antigen test.

And, next, they hope to also begin offering vaccinations when the distribution process reaches the general population phase.

The company has not yet responded to our inquiries about the new Seattle location.

Seattle offers a variety of testing options — many of them free.

“Since its founding only a few months ago, Sameday Testing has become one of the leading COVID-19 testing providers and tests thousands of people every day at a rapidly growing number of locations across the country,” the company says.

Sameday’s marketing illustrates its target markets with information about states with travel restrictions requiring proof of negative test results including details on Hawaii’s travel restrictions which require a negative test within 72 hours of your flight.

The company also offers companies the option of purchasing tests for workers. “Law prohibits you from asking your employees to get tested with their insurance for screening purposes,” the company’s pitch reads. “Purchase on their behalf and stay compliant.”

The Sameday Testing on 15th Ave E isn’t the first free market opportunity we’ve seen seized around the virus on Capitol Hill. On 12th Ave, a notorious and one of a kind Airbnb-focused development was briefly transformed into a a COVID-19 testing center. There are sure to be more to come.

CHS reported here on the current state of the pandemic in Washington, King County, and Seattle as officials say there are good signs that the spread of the virus has been slowed but that concern remains high due to the growing totals of hospitalized people suffering from the vius.

With the current course of the pandemic, the new Capitol Hill pop-up might not be around along. The Sameday storefront on 15th, for now, is mostly just temporary signs, a sidewalk sandwich board, and blue smocked workers at a folding table serving as a front desk. We can all hope it stays that way,

Sameday Testing is located at 430 15th Ave E. You can learn more here.


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Daniel
Daniel
1 month ago

For profit testing? The rapid crappy test for $175?! Shame on these people trying to make a quick profit. This leaves a terrible taste up my nostril.

caphiller
caphiller
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel

I wonder if these tests would be covered by insurance. At CVS, Walgreens, etc tests cost $100+ if you pay cash, but they’re 100% covered by many (all?) insurance policies. And for those uninsured, you just give your SSN and the feds pay for the test. Unclear to me why anyone would pay cash for a test, whether at this place or anywhere else.

jonc
jonc
1 month ago
Reply to  caphiller

The public testing sites were getting overwhelmed and asking those without symptoms to stay away at one point. I haven’t seen lines in the places you mention, so maybe it’s worth it if you don’t want to take a half a day off from work.

fjn
fjn
1 month ago
Reply to  jonc

No appointment needed at Public Health downtown on 4th Ave at Blanchard. Walk-up hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm. Results in 24 hours, in my experience, several times. And free.

RWK
RWK
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel

I agree. This profiteering off the pandemic is disgusting. I hope this business fails, and soon. There are free sites available for anyone.

TransitRocks
TransitRocks
1 month ago
Reply to  RWK

Again, the free sites are overwhelmed with requests and it can be hard to get an appointment. What sucks is that our government has not made available low cost at home tests as they have done in India.

Brad
Brad
1 month ago
Reply to  RWK

The worst thing anyone can do is to make money (motto of Capitol Hill).

Sheryl
Sheryl
1 month ago

hey, if you’re going to fly to hawaii, and want quick turnaround, be ready to pay! this provides a fast service, keeps economy going, and keeps people getting tested for a lark or by their employers out of the public sphere, away from free testing sites. Darn, missing Take2 already.

Nope
Nope
1 month ago

$60 at poly clinic…..