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‘Deeply disenfranchised’ White Center to house coronavirus quarantine

King County's White Center neighborhood. (MyNorthwest photo)

A modular coronavirus quarantine unit was set up in West Seattle’s White Center neighborhood, and many in the community have expressed concerns.

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On Tuesday, crews moved first modular housing unit to a county-owned lot in White Center on SW 112th Street. It’s the first of up to eight trailer units to be installed on the lot, and each trailer has four individual “mini motel rooms” inside.

While many have acknowledged that the quarantine unit needs to go somewhere, residents and representatives of the diverse neighborhood have expressed their concerns over the use of an oft-marginalized part of unincorporated King County.

“I understand why this facility is needed,” said Washington State Senator Joe Nguyen, who represents White Center in Olympia. “But the appearance of placing it in a neighborhood that has already been historically marginalized conveys a message about whose safety we most value in our society that is not lost on me.”

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“I am wary to see that this facility has been placed in a community already deeply disenfranchised by decades of policies working against it,” he added.

Six to eight units will go on the White Center lot, surrounded by apartment buildings in the neighboring area. An existing building that’s been vacant for about a decade will be demolished to make room for the trailers.

KIRO 7 reporter Deedee Sun contributed to this report

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