Black Press file photo

Black Press file photo

North Bend facility will serve as U.S. quarantine zone

Facility will be one of five nationwide.

A Fire Training facility in North Bend has been chosen as the site of quarantine for travelers from Hubei Province China, if they are unable to quarantine themselves.

The Washington State Patrol announced on Tuesday (Feb. 4) that its Fire Training Academy (FTA) would become the fifth quarantine zone in the United States, although it will only be used if travelers are unable to self quarantine at home.

The city of North Bend said in a press release that the facility is outside city limits, and emphasized that it is away from local population centers.

“The information we have received from the DOH (Department of Health) is that the FTA is considered a secure facility to quarantine up to 14 days (holding only, not treatment) for people who arrive at SeaTac from Wuhan province and do not present symptoms,” North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland said. “As travel from Wuhan was cut off by China some number of days ago, the window under which this applies appears to be closing quickly.”

Douglas Wagoner, a Washington State Department of Health spokesperson, said that the quarantine zone will minimally affect citizens of North Bend.

“A quarantine location does not pose a public safety risk for the surrounding area. People in the facility will not be in public places and coronaviruses are not known to linger in the air,” Wagoner said. “A quarantine site will not host people who are ill with symptoms.”

Wagoner added that the department is “considering several additional potential quarantine options, should they be needed.”

A Snohomish County man was the first person in the United States diagnosed with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that originated in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Admitted since Jan. 20, the 35-year-old man — who had traveled to Wuhan recently — was released from Providence Regional Medical Center Everett on Monday (Feb.1).

As of Feb. 4, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported that there has been only one confirmed case of the virus in Washington state and that there are a total of 22 persons under investigation (PUI) that have been tested. Of those tested, 18 were negative and 3 remained pending. Additionally, 17 close contacts were being monitored. DOH is reporting the risk locally is low.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport became one of 11 U.S. airports partnering with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security to screen all passengers coming from China for symptoms.

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