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Pierce County opens COVID-19 temporary care center

Center provides a free, safe assessment and recovery option for those who need it.

Post Date:04/07/2020 4:06 p.m.

Appropriate care for people exposed to or sick with the disease is essential to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.  

TACOMA, Wash.—Not all Pierce County residents with COVID-19 have safe options for quarantine or isolation. A free, temporary care center provides an option that protects residents’ health and helps slow disease spread. 

The temporary care center will open Wednesday, April 8 on Hosmer Street in central Pierce County. “We have taken this step in partnership with our local healthcare providers and others to meet an unprecedented public health emergency,” said Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier. “Working together, we will meet this challenge and provide our residents the care they need,” Dammeier said.  

Planning continues to open centers in east and west Pierce County, if needed. 

The free center is for people:

  • Exposed to COVID-19 but not yet sick and need a safe place to stay for the 14-day assessment period (quarantine).
  • Tested positive for the disease or have symptoms but do not need hospital care while they recover (isolation).

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department staff will identify people who meet the criteria during the disease investigation to determine if they are eligible to stay at the center. 

Staying at the center is voluntary for people who can’t stay at home or don’t have suitable accommodations for quarantine or isolation. The temporary care center provides local care without adding to the mounting pressure on the hospital system. 

The site offers: 

  • 24/7 security. 
  • Full-time, onsite medical care. 
  • Onsite laundry and sanitation. 
  • Three meals a day. 
  • Basic over-the-counter medication. 
  • Access to Wi-Fi, TV, landline telephones, streamed religious services, and reading materials.  
  • Interpretation and other resources for people who don’t speak English. 

“Assessment and recovery are essential strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Director of Health Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH. “The temporary care center allows people who need a safe place for assessment and recovery to get the care they need when they need it,” Chen said.

“I am thankful that Central Pierce County was chosen as the site for the temporary care facility,” said District 5 County Councilmember Marty Campbell. The care center is in his district. “This is needed in our community to assist our hospitals at this critical time. Together we will get through this,” Campbell said.  

The Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, the Health Department, the City of Tacoma, business leaders, and residents have collaborated to develop plans for the care center. The process to identify a location included community engagement with people who live and work in the area.  

Pierce County’s Emergency Management department will use federal and state COVID-19 funding to cover the costs for the center.  

Learn more about the temporary care center at tpchd.org/covid19tempcare. Stay up to date on the local response to the pandemic at tpchd.org/coronavirus.  

Video Link

This is a link featuring Executive Dammeier, Mayor Woodards and Dr. Chen explaining the center to the community. Access to the site is only for guests staying to isolate and recover or staff working at the building.  

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment to protect public health. We are one of roughly 244 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at tpchd.org

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