King County to create 3 new quarantine centers
In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, King County plans to repurpose three more properties for isolation centers.
Properties listed are:
• King County International Airport: In a continuing effort to lower the number of people in our larger shelter locations and achieve the recommended social distancing guidelines (six feel apart), the Arrivals Hall at the King County International Airport (7277 Perimeter Road South) is being used to provide shelter for the men, typically older adults, who usually shelter at St. Martin De Porres in Seattle. This service began on 3/13/20, and last night sheltered 80 men, 55 years or older. This action will help prevent people from becoming ill in the first place.
• Eastgate Parking Lot – A fully self-contained tent, with flooring and heat, has been purchased for use as an isolation and recovery location and will be placed on the county-owned parking lot located at 13620 Eastgate Way in Bellevue. The location will have 24/7 onsite security and health services staff. The site will be available in about a week.
• Issaquah Motel (new acquisition): King County Facilities Management Division has finalized a lease of a motel located at 1801 12th Avenue NW in Issaquah. We are currently considering site uses that include expanding medical support for vulnerable populations or isolation for people who do not require significant social support services, as well as step-down medical care for people who do not require hospitalization to maximize available space in regional medical facilities.
Last week, King County bought a motel in Kent to use as an isolation center. The purchase didn’t sit well with the mayor and city council and neighboring businesses.
A homeless patient checked into the EconoLodge in Kent on Thursday. .The patient entered the facility as a voluntary response to an offer for services while he awaited coronavirus test results.
Shortly after, he reportedly “disregarded the instructions of an onsite guard and left the motel.” He then entered a convenience store, “where he allegedly shoplifted items,” before getting on a northbound Route 153 King County Metro bus.
Because of this incident, King County’s isolation sites will only be used to house those “who not need supportive social services or additional supports.” It will also look to identify and staff separate sites for those with behavioral health needs in the days ahead.