Two people who were staying at King County’s temporary shelter in Sodo to escape the poor air quality have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to a Thursday statement from the county Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS).
The county opened its clean-air shelter on Sept. 11 to bring people who are homelessness inside, to protect them from the wildfire smoke that’s polluted Washington air for the past week. Thursday, the county said the two people were at the shelter while potentially contagious.
As of Thursday night, 73 people were staying at the shelter, according to DCHS spokesperson Sherry Hamilton. Staffers closed the facility to new guests as soon as they were notified of the positive cases, Hamilton wrote in an email to The Seattle Times.
Shelter staff are in the process of cleaning the facility and notifying all guests, staff and visitors about their possible exposure from Saturday to Monday, according to DCHS. Anyone who was at the shelter during that period was tested for coronavirus on Thursday.
The shelter will close Friday as scheduled, the statement said. Anyone who was already staying at the shelter and agreed to get a coronavirus test will be able to stay on site until Saturday, when they’ll receive their test results.
Those who may have been exposed, exhibit symptoms or test positive for coronavirus will be able to quarantine at a King County isolation facility.
The 24/7 shelter — located at 1045 6th Ave. South — was completely full Sunday night through Tuesday. It can accommodate about 100 people at a time, and offers each person their own cot, meals and on-side health care if needed.