Coronavirus Recovery Center To Open In King County
King County will soon open its first COVID-19 assessment and recovery center on soccer fields owned by the city of Shoreline. The temporary facility includes two 19K SF tents, each with a 70-bed capacity.
The tents will be used to assess, test and hold coronavirus patients and alleviate the strain on area hospitals. It’s designed to accomodate large groups of people who may be part of a hot spot, such as those in homeless camps or shelters. Those who test positive and are unable to isolate themselves in a home will be allowed to stay at the facility.
Urgent care needs, such as wound treatment, will be available inside the tents. It will also be staffed by mental health professionals who can provide drug addiction treatments if needed.
The facility will be guarded and patients who test positive will be required by law to remain, but it won’t be a prison-like setting with barbed wire and armed guards standing watch, King County Executive Director Dow Constantine told reporters.
Each tent cost about $1M to purchase, install and set up with HVAC systems, King County Director of Facility Management Anthony Wright said. The tents were purchased from a company that was set to use them for an event in Las Vegas. That event was canceled due to the virus.
“This was our least expensive option,” he said. “We started looking early and were able to find them for a better price than we would find today.”
The county is developing more recovery center locations that could house up to 657 people in Interbay, SoDo and Bellevue. In SoDo, the county is renovating a former auto repair warehouse at 1039 Sixth Ave. South. That site will be able to house 240 people. A dormitory-style modular facility is being planned for 601 Elliott Ave. W Interbay. Another site is set for 18560 First Ave. NE.
The county continues to purchase hotels, including one in Issaquah, to house those who may need to isolate themselves but don’t have anywhere else to go.
Meanwhile, a 250-bed military field hospital is being set up at CenturyLink Field by soldiers from the 627th Army Hospital in Fort Carson, Colorado. Soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord are helping in the effort.
Currently, there are no reports of local hospitals being overrun with COVID-19 patients, but experts expect Washington state to peak on April 19. Gov. Jay Inslee issued a stay-at-home order on March 23 that prohibits people from working in nonessential industries, including commercial and residential construction.
The state has yet to say how many hospital beds and ventilators may be needed in the coming weeks, but hospitals are reporting a shortage of personal protective gear. On Wednesday afternoon, Inslee asked Washington state manufacturers to pitch in by producing personal protective equipment for Washington state medical staff, as efforts to obtain these supplies from the federal government have yet to produce results.
An overwhelming number of negative tests has snarled the state of Washington’s coronavirus reporting system since March 28. The state hopes to update its numbers Wednesday.