The SCAN study has ended as of July 31, 2022. Learn more about the history and accomplishments of the study here.


The Greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) was a research study investigating the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in our region. SCAN supported public health leaders, including Public Health – Seattle & King County and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, with anonymized data to help public health leaders respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Having achieved this goal, SCAN is ending active recruitment of new participants on July 31, 2022. SCAN was funded by Gates Ventures, the private office of Bill Gates.

SCAN's Accomplishments The COVID-19 pandemic created an extraordinary need for rapid, reliable, and high-volume testing in the Seattle area. In response, the Greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) was created to scale up detection and sequencing of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. SCAN was one of the first community surveillance programs for COVID-19 in the United States.

Using a lab-developed test for SARS-CoV-2 developed by the Seattle Flu Study team, SCAN provided a quarter of all SARS-CoV-2 testing in King County in the early months of the pandemic. This supplied critical data to public and state health officials about how the pandemic was spreading. SCAN also conducted crucial outreach and education to the public and provided testing to underserved populations. In total, 69,900 COVID-19 tests were provided from March 2020 to July 2022 in King and Pierce Counties.

Beyond the laboratory, the SCAN team contributed to pandemic response efforts across the state. This included supporting the Washington State Department of Health to expand its genome sequencing capacity with training, joint analyses, and ongoing communication. The SCAN team provided regular situation updates about COVID-19 transmission to the Department of Health and Public Health – Seattle & King County, and shared real-time findings about how new variants of the virus were affecting the spread of COVID-19 and hospitalization rates. SCAN also supported contact-tracing efforts by ensuring that SCAN participants were enrolled in Public Health – Seattle & King County’s outreach efforts to people who tested positive and their close contacts.

Our Partners This project would not have been possible without the many community members who volunteered their expertise to develop translations for SCAN. We are truly thankful to everyone who offered their help and would like to specifically acknowledge the following community groups who went above and beyond in their contributions:

  • Seattle Pacific University African Student Association
  • Eritrean Community Connections
  • Every Nation Church -- Seattle
  • Korean Engineers at Microsoft
  • Madnetism Arts Inc.
  • Philadelphia Eritrean Church -- Seattle
  • Seattle Flu Study
  • Seattle Genetics
  • Somali Health Board
  • The Back Family
  • The Eritrean Community of Seattle
  • The Filipino Community of Seattle
  • The Giblette Family
  • The Taiwanese Community of Seattle
  • The Vietnamese Community of Seattle
  • The W. Noor and Emad T. Family
  • The Wong Family
  • UW Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Evidence-Based Practice Institute
  • UW National Society of Black Healthcare Professionals
  • UW South Asia Center
  • UW Department of Bioengineering
  • UW Health Informatics & Health Information Management Program

Step 1 Healthy and sick people in the community took their own nasal swabs at home and returned them them to SCAN’s research labs.

Step 2 SCAN tested the samples for presence of a current coronavirus infection.

Step 3 People who have coronavirus detected in their swabs were contacted by a healthcare member of our research team. More detailed results were made available for participants via our secure results portal.

Step 4 Results were used to understand where and how many people are sick with coronavirus in our area. This information guided data-driven public health recommendations and guidelines for protecting our community.