King County’s North Seattle isolation and quarantine site on April 8. The North Seattle/Aurora facility is located at 1132 N 128th St. in Seattle. It features six modular units with a total capacity of 23 people. Corey Morris/staff photo

King County’s North Seattle isolation and quarantine site on April 8. The North Seattle/Aurora facility is located at 1132 N 128th St. in Seattle. It features six modular units with a total capacity of 23 people. Corey Morris/staff photo

King County facilities readying for COVID-19 peak

Facilities are located throughout the county to assist patients with varying levels of support.

  • Wednesday, April 8, 2020 12:14pm
  • News

As of April 8, 39 people in King County are staying at county isolation and quarantine sites.

King County currently has three isolation and quarantine sites (IQRs) up and running. The facilities are not yet at capacity.

The county isn’t reporting overall numbers at the sites, nor is it collecting data on individuals and patient statuses or why they are there, county spokesperson Angie Malpass said in an email update.

“Qualifications are based on Public Health’s triage assessment,” Malpass said. “Not all are homeless and they include first responders and individuals with a vulnerable family member at home in need of a safe place to isolate or quarantine.”

IQRs

IQRs offer temporary lodging for people who cannot safely self-isolate or quarantine in their own home, or those who do not have a home, Malpass explained. Sites will provide health and basic behavioral health care, food and other basic needs. Public Health will approve referral to isolation and quarantine, and approve discharge.

Quarantine is for people without symptoms who may have been exposed.

Isolation is for people who are ill and able to spread the disease.

The three active IQRs in King County are Building A in Kent, 49 rooms in Issaquah, and Aurora in Seattle.

Building A is a set of hotel rooms at Kent Central Avenue Motel (1233 Central Ave. N). Initially, it was 15 rooms but now has a total capacity of 79 people. Malpass said the county first renovated the Kent hotel rooms in Building A to meet Public Health’s standards for isolation and quarantine (ripping out carpet and putting in hardwood floors, for example), and then moved to renovate the rooms in Building B. Renovations in Building B are nearly complete and it could open this week. Building C will start renovations this week, putting it some two weeks from opening.

The North Seattle/Aurora facility is located at 1132 N. 128th St. in Seattle. It features six modular units with a total capacity of 23 people.

The Issaquah Hotel is located at 1801 12th Ave. NW. Eventually the site will have a total capacity for 99 people. Currently, the facility is only renovated to provide 49 beds. The remaining rooms are being renovated to Public Health standards.

Two additional IQRs will open soon at White Center and Harborview in Seattle.

White Center/Top Hat is located at 206 SW 112th St. in Seattle. It will feature eight modular units with a total capacity of 31 people. Construction is complete, all eight units are built, and rooms are being readied and stocked with supplies, Malpass said.

“We will activate it when there is demand — probably when the current open sites are closer to 75% full,” Malpass explained. “We are seeing more utilization, so we will see what the coming week brings, and then we will make decisions about both White Center and Shoreline.”

Harborview Hall is operated by Harborview Medical Center and located at 326 Ninth Ave. in Seattle. It will have the potential to house 45 people and is expected to open this week. The facility will receive people with high-intensity, behavioral health needs.

RCs

Assessment centers and recovery centers (RCs) provide Public Health-supervised care to symptomatic or COVID-positive adults who can’t follow public health guidance for isolation, quarantine or recovery in their own home, or those who are homeless, Malpass explained.

“(RCs) can provide flex space for hospitals to discharge non-emergency COVID cases, freeing hospital beds for more acute patients,” she said.

In addition to providing testing for high-risk populations, Malpass noted, each facility will provide separate isolation spaces for people awaiting test results and for those who test positive. The facilities will provide food, shelter and basic care.

Currently, the county has identified four RC sites — one in Bellevue, one in Shoreline and two in Seattle.

The Bellevue facility is located in Eastgate at 13620 SE Eastgate Way, and it will have a capacity for 140-150 people. The RC will house patients in two fabric structures (tents).

“The Eastgate tents are set up and it is close to being ready to activate,” Malpass said. “Over the weekend, supplies were delivered, unloaded and set up by AmeriCorps volunteers.”

The facility, when it’s ready, will not immediately fill to capacity.

“Eastgate is meant to be a surge capacity when you suddenly have a cluster of people who need a place… less of a one person at a time location like the IQRs,” Malpass said. “The (RCs) can take a group of people all at once if a surge happens. Surges are hard to predict, but we are ready for when/if they happen.”


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