A place for people who can’t stay at home if they’re sick or exposed.
It is important for people who are sick with or exposed to COVID-19 to stay away from others.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, we must provide a safe place for people to stay. A temporary care center opened on April 8 on Hosmer Street in central Pierce County.
The center will provide temporary housing for people, screened through the Health Department, who don’t have a safe space to isolate or quarantine from others.
I think I qualify. What should I do?
A healthcare provider must refer you to stay at the center.
Who are the centers for?
- Quarantine: People exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case. People are assessed for signs or symptoms of the virus. They need to be alone for 14 days to reduce any potential spread of the disease.
- Isolation: People tested positive for the virus or have symptoms and are waiting for test results. They don’t need hospital care but must remain isolated from others so the disease doesn’t spread.
Pierce County has 2 temporary care centers. We started with Tacoma and will add additional temporary care centers if needed. As of June 30, the Tacoma center has served fewer than 30 people. We also contracted with a facility for four beds for people with acute or chronic behavioral health issues who need to isolate or quarantine.
Can I bring my pet with me?
We don’t allow pets at the temporary care centers. We have a designated Pet Care Center for your pets. We will transfer pets to an offsite center to feed and care for pets including overnight security.
Can I have visitors?
To protect everyone's health, we can’t allow visitors. Digital communication like video calls and hand-written note or cards are great ways to stay connected.
Can someone leave a temporary care center against public health advice?
Temporary care centers are available to provide a safe and supported alternative for residents. Staying at the center is voluntary. However, we will not allow people to come and go. To reduce COVID-19 spread, nursing staff will work with guests to resolve issues and strongly encourage them to stay until their assessment or recovery period is complete.
Protocols are in place in the event a person leaves against public health advice.
How are people living near a temporary care center protected?
Temporary care centers are effective and essential to slow disease spread and save lives. It is important for people who are sick with or exposed to COVID-19 to stay away from others.
Our plans address local concerns:
- 24/7 security personnel.
- Not allowing residents to come and go. We expect residents to stay in their rooms.
- Social distancing for everyone on site.
- Follow recommended daily sanitation procedures.
- Not allowing visitors.
- Cleaning or throwing away residents clothing before they leave.
- Health Department referrals to the center and clearance before checkout.
- Checkout process with screening.
- Notification to South Sound 911, the Health Department and Pierce Transit about a person leaving against public health advice.
- Deep cleaning by a professional company between room occupants.
How did you select temporary care center locations?
Siting these services is not a decision that we take lightly. Many people stepped forward to offer their facilities. The Department of Emergency Management reviewed more than 80 sites countywide. Only a handful of potential sites can meet all the criteria. Site selection criteria includes:
- Immediate availability.
- Owner willingness to provide this service.
- Security and access to emergency services.
- Bathing, toilet and laundry facilities.
- Food options.
- Accessibility for people with disabilities.
How do I get placed at a temporary care center?
During the disease investigation process, the Health Department will identify eligible people who can't safely or practically stay at home. The Health Department will screen these people for temporary care center placement.
How long will the hotel remain a care center?The temporary care center doesn't have an end date for operations. We review the contract every 30 days. The center will remain open to serve Pierce County residents as long as people need a place to safely isolate and quarantine.
Is Assessment and Recovery different than Quarantine and Isolation?
We use the terms assessment and recovery instead of quarantine and isolation as they are less technical.
Assessment: People exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case. We assess people for signs or symptoms of the virus. They need to be alone for 14 days to reduce any potential spread of the disease.
Recovery: People who tested positive for the virus or have symptoms and are waiting for test results. They don’t need hospital care but must remain isolated from others and so the disease doesn’t spread.
Is there parking available?
Unfortunately, there is no resident parking. A transportation team will bring people to the site and transport them out.
Is there security at these centers?
Initially, 24-hour uniformed law enforcement will be at the center to assess security needs. Uniformed contract security will be on site 24/7.
What accommodations will you provide?
Our goal is to provide accommodations for language, disability, and other factors to ensure residents have fair, equitable access to services. This may include interpretation by phone and ADA compliant rooms.
What amenities will you offer?
We will provide the following amenities at the temporary care center:
- 24/7 security.
- Onsite laundry and biohazard cleaning.
- Three meals a day.
- Basic over-the-counter medication.
- Access to Wi-Fi, TV, landline telephones, streamed religious services, and reading materials. (Some locations might not have TV.)
- Interpretation and other resources for people who don’t speak English.
What is the difference between a Temporary Care Center and a Temporary Expansion Shelter?
A Temporary Care Center is a resource for people who can’t safely or practically stay at home when asked to by a public health professional. For example, a person living with an elderly or immune-compromised family member may need to be elsewhere temporarily for assessment and recovery to avoid getting the family member sick. A person living homeless may be placed in a temporary care center if that is the best option for them.
A Temporary Expansion Shelter is a resource for people living homeless to practice social distancing. Homeless shelters will work with public health and human resources to coordinate needs and placement in an expansion shelter.
Who pays for the temporary care centers?
Pierce County Department of Emergency Management will cover costs for meals, food, lodging and logistics. The funding and resources come from federal and state COVID-19 funds.
Who will stay at the Temporary Care Centers?
Temporary Care Centers are for residents who can’t safely or practically stay at home for their assessment or recovery period when asked to by a public health professional.
Public health will work with these people to identify the best placement option.
Will the Temporary Care Center be safe to use after it's done housing our community members for assessment and recovery?
Yes. The Center will follow CDC cleaning guidelines. We will contract with a cleaning vendor to clean and disinfect the entire site thoroughly, like a hospital.
Will you offer on-site medical care?
No, however the Temporary Care Center staff will assist with medical needs including:
- Initial medical screening.
- Routine daily patient assessments.
- Routine behavioral health evaluations and patient assessments.
- Referral for emergency medical evaluations.
Residents should bring their own prescribed medication (2 weeks supply) for their pre-existing health conditions. Limited basic over-the-counter medications may be available on-site.
Will you provide food to residents?Yes, will deliver 3 meals each day to residents' rooms. We will also provide additional drinks and snacks as needed to support people's health. We will make accommodations for allergies and special needs.
We encourage each temporary care center to support local businesses and contract locally for food. We will provide a list of local vendors to each site.