OLYMPIA -- In response to new federal measures around controlling the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus, the Washington State Department of Health has been working to identify several suitable locations for a quarantine site, should the need arise. The purpose of quarantine is to prevent healthy people who’ve potentially been exposed to a communicable disease from spreading it to other people.
The Department of Health (DOH) has identified state-owned property behind the Washington State Public Health Laboratory in Shoreline as another potential site for quarantine. The Shoreline property is spacious and secure, and while there are neighborhoods nearby, there is no risk to the public. Fully functional mobile housing units on site can comfortably house a person(s) for up to 14 days, safely and securely. People staying there would be regularly monitored by staff as part of a multi-agency partnership who would also deliver wraparound services like food, laundry, and other needs. Fencing would be established for both the privacy and safety of anyone staying inside.
The people who would stay at a quarantine site pose no risk to the public. Healthy people who have traveled from Hubei Province, China would be sent to this quarantine spot. The people who would stay in the quarantine area would not be sick. If anyone in quarantine became ill with symptoms consistent with novel coronavirus, they would be evaluated and removed from the site. “We want to make sure that all the neighbors in this area know that this set-up would be for healthy people,” says Department of Health Incident Commander Kevin Wickersham. “And for anyone who would stay here, we will go to any lengths to make them feel comfortable, and we will make good on that promise.”
The best option for people who need to quarantine themselves is to do it at home. If travelers are able to quarantine themselves at home, they would be monitored and assisted by their local health department.
DOH has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state regarding how the mandatory quarantine works, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.
More information Washington State Department of Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: