White Center residents blindsided after King County plans coronavirus quarantine facility

WHITE CENTER, Wash. – King County officials are scrambling to put together several mobile quarantine facilities to help coronavirus patients get access to isolated treatment.

A large mobile trailer was placed on county property Tuesday in White Center along SW 112th Street.

Dozens of infected patients could eventually be quarantined there, and some could be moved in as early as this week.

“They’re working as fast as they can,” said Barbara Ramey with the county department, “This is moving at lightning speed.”

The run-down county-owned lot could soon house dozens of coronavirus patients requiring quarantine.

“This is really government working for you,” said Ramey.

Up to eight Covid-19 patients requiring quarantine could be housed in each mobile trailer. The county plans to tear a building down soon as well, making room for even more.

“I’m on high alert now,” said Lawrence Robinson. ”It’s real close, I live right here.”

“I was watching the news and I thought, this is right across the street,” said neighbor Marsh Robins.

Robins wondered why the county didn’t reach out before choosing this location.

“How do we get protected, you know?” said Robins.

She’s not the only one to feel blindsided.

“If it’s going to be in the neighborhood, having fliers would have been good as a heads up,” said neighbor Jacob Lowry.

Lowry has been watching the coronavirus events unfold but never expected it to land so close to home.

The location on SW 112th Street is just the first – county officials are looking to identify additional sites as needed to respond to the public health emergency.

But since Lowy's immune system is compromised, he hopes any patients quarantined across the street stick to the program and remain in isolation.

“If it’s managed properly, I don’t have any concern,” said Lowy. “If it’s not, if someone’s walking from my front door to my car, could I come across someone who tested positive for the virus?”