King County to buy motel to house coronavirus patients in isolation

Mar 2, 2020, 12:24 PM | Updated: 1:39 pm

Coronavirus, Dow Constantine...

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a new behavioral health crisis response plan as part of his two-year budget proposal. (King County TV)

(King County TV)

King County health officials briefed the public Monday with updates on the local coronavirus response. That response includes the purchase of a motel to house coronavirus patients in isolation.

All of the confirmed coronavirus cases across Washington state

“We have moved to a new stage in the fight to contain and mitigate this outbreak,” said Executive Dow Constantine.

The motel will be used to isolate patients in recovery and active treatment. The transaction to purchase the motel has yet to be completed, but the county expects to finish final negotiations by the end of the week.

King County will also use modular housing in “several locations,” including in Seattle. Officials are working to identify ideal locations for the units, which could house over 100 people when fully implemented.

In terms of large-scale events, health officials are not recommending cancellations as of yet. That being said, the spread of coronavirus is also being closely monitored in case that changes.

“We’re beginning to think very hard about that this week,” said Seattle-King County Public Health’s Dr. Jeff Duchin. “We’re going to be look at our measures, [and] at the extent of community transmission.”

Researchers say coronavirus likely spread silently in WA for weeks

Officials also announced that King County now has 14 total confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 5 deaths. Snohomish County is reporting 4 additional cases with 1 death.

As the virus has continued to spread, local hospitals have been working to deal with increased testing and treatment needs.

“Even this early in the outbreak, our hospitals are feeling the strain,” said Director of Public Health Patty Hayes.

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