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King County reducing shelter concentrations, moving people to hotels

The interior of a two-bed temporary housing unit is shown Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at the site in South Seattle where King County will be placing several multi-unit housing modules to house patients undergoing treatment and isolation in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

In the daily coronavirus update from Public Health — Seattle & King County, the county announced Thursday that it is working to reduce shelter concentrations by moving people to hotels.

King County Executive Dow Constantine previously discussed the county’s plan to “de-intensify” shelters. This process, he explained, would include steps to create more space in shelters to lower the risk of infection and increase hygiene opportunities for all unsheltered individuals.

“Our goal is that we will provide even those who are unhoused with the opportunity to be safely separated from others, to avoid infection either within the shelters or out in the community,” Constantine said.

Agreements are still being finalized, but there are three hotels in the county that will serve as temporary shelters for people who are homeless. Nearly 400 people will be moved to these hotels starting next week. The sites will be able to remain open 24/7 and meals will be provided. Any onsite services and oversight will be provided by shelter operators.

People in these hotels will not be those sick with coronavirus, and they will not serve as isolation and quarantine facilities. No other guests will be at the hotels.

King County works to prevent spread of coronavirus among homeless

Public Health — Seattle & King County provided the following information about the three sites:

The Sophia Way is moving 100 people from a shelter site in Bellevue at 625 116th Avenue NE.

Catholic Community Services is moving 90 people from shelter sites in Kent, Federal Way, and Renton to a SeaTac hotel at 2900 S. 192nd Street.

Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) is moving 200 people from its Seattle shelters to a hotel in Renton at 1 South Grady Way.

King County currently has 2,656 confirmed coronavirus cases with 175 deaths.

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