KENNEWICK, WA- As many people get back to work after the holidays, a new COVID-19 testing site in Kennewick will now serve as another way to get your results back faster and easier.

The new testing site location is at 1709 S. Ely Street in Kennewick, near the Kennewick Irrigation District building. 

The new testing site will replace the former HAPO center location in Pasco.

Rick Dawson with the Benton-Franklin Health District said the reason for the move was to help with security and help protect the workers from the winter weather.

"It provides the things that are needed to make this an easier access for our community and a good experience when they come and need to be tested," Dawson said.

More convenient for people in Kennewick and Richland, but also easier for the national guard staff whos run the location.

"The reason for the move was because this area has an enclosed fencing so we don't have to set up and tear down everyday," Lt. Paula Ramirez said.

Dawson and Ramirez said at the old location high winds would sometimes cause the old location to close. With a new tent and being more enclosed it helps keep the site secure.

"If we get 50 mph of winds having to go well we can't operate today, we could operate in 50 mph winds because the tent is going to stay. It's now a heated tent so it helps us deal with the fact that it's winter," Dawson said.

Dawson said that the new location will also help alleviate traffic concerns they had at the Argent Road location in Pasco. He said the Ely Street location can hold up to 80 cars without spilling into traffic.

"That is a lot of cars when you consider that our national guard folks doing the testing are somebody through every five minutes that they have the capability to get people in and out of here," Dawson said.

With locations in Benton and Franklin counties, BFHD hopes to serve more people and stop the spread of COVID-19 faster.

"The more testing we can do the sooner we can find people that are infected with COVID-19, the sooner we can helped them isolate therefore preventing other infections," Dawson said.

Hours at the Kennewick Test Site are: Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and drive-ups are welcome. Preregistration is encouraged by visiting www.wacovid19.org/kennewicktesting