Shoreline Public Health Lab identified as Quarantine Location for Healthy Travelers
The State has identified potential sites across the region for quarantine facilities in an effort to stop the spread of novel coronavirus. The Department of Health has identified a site on state-owned property next to the Department of Health laboratory on the Fircrest Campus.
Candidates for quarantine at a site would be limited to travelers arriving at Sea-Tac Airport from Hubei Province in China who are also unable to quarantine at home, due to lack of a separate area in the home or perhaps an infant or other family member whose immune system isn’t fully functioning. As a result, the number of individuals who would require quarantine is extremely low—possibly zero.
A person in quarantine is not sick but has potentially been exposed to the virus—quarantine works as a way to make sure that nobody who is unknowingly infected can spread the disease. The Department of Health has stated that a quarantine location does not pose a public safety risk for the surrounding community. People in the facility will not be in public places and coronaviruses are not known to linger in the air. Anyone who becomes sick during the quarantine process will be evaluated for symptoms of coronavirus and taken to a medical facility, if needed.
The Department of Health is required to take security measures to ensure that the premises are secure at all times. They will also be required to provide a plan on how they will handle contaminated materials, including wastewater, should individuals test positive for the virus.
To learn more:
Department of Health News Release: Area Near Shoreline Public Health Lab identified as Possible Quarantine Location for Healthy Travelers – February 7, 2020
Public Health Seattle-King County – Quarantine Blog
Washington State Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Frequently asked questions from the Department of Health:
How would people arrive from the airport? DOH would provide secure transport from the airport.
Where would the quarantined people stay? DOH has obtained 3 mobile housing units (RVs), one for medical surveillance personnel, two for quarantined individuals should the need arise.
Where will the RVs be parked? RVs are parked on a large asphalt pad away from the public and inaccessible to the public.
Who owns the land? DNRS-owned land in Shoreline, WA, leased by DSHS.
How long will people stay? Length of time of stay: Expected to be 14 days or less.
How will their privacy be protected? Privacy fencing will limit access and visibility of the area.
Will they have access to basic services? Because they would be in RVs, they would have access to power and water. We will also provide complete wraparound services for all needs and creature comforts required.
How many people can be in the quarantine area? Each RV can house one individual person or a family (up to 6). Families would be kept together.
Is this area accessible and near public places? The area has a low visibility from nearby roadways.
Could the family or friends visit? Families would not be able visit during duration of quarantine.
What’s the security plan? Quarantined spaces would be monitored closely for security and safety. The area would be under camera supervision, and assigned security would be performing regular check-ins. There would be assigned law enforcement on site as well (in off-hours.) Security will be 24/7 if/when a traveler is on site.
How will they be cared for? Quarantined individuals would have wraparound services (meals, medicine, phones, internet, sanitation, hygiene, laundry). Deliveries would come from assigned state personnel, including the Red Cross.
What would happen in an emergency? In case of emergency, individuals would contact onsite law enforcement and would be under supervision for any movement of those in quarantine.
What about their jobs? DOH would support any information they need to provide to their employers.
Will people need to have medical protection when they’re on the property? No. DOH health staff will wear necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) when appropriate, inside the quarantine area only. There is no risk to the public or to workers on site.
What if someone gets sick? If someone gets sick and they have symptoms of coronavirus they’ll be removed from the area. If they test positive for novel coronavirus, they’ll be hospitalized in isolation.