King County moves swiftly to contain COVID-19 exposure

In response to wildfire smoke and poor air quality, King County opened a Clean Air Shelter in partnership with the City of Seattle on Friday, Sept. 11, to bring people experiencing homelessness indoors. Public Health – Seattle & King County contact tracing and case investigation have identified two people who tested positive for COVID-19 and were at the SoDo Clean Air Shelter while potentially contagious 

Shelter staff are notifying all shelter guests, staff, and visitors about their possible exposure to COVID-19 during the period of September 12-14. Anyone staying or working at the shelter will be able to receive a COVID-19 test at the shelter on Sept. 17. 

Based on forecasted air quality measurements, the SoDo Clean Air Shelter will continue operations on Sept. 17 and close Friday, Sept. 18 as scheduled. Because the temporary shelter will be closing Friday and to limit risk of inadvertent spread of COVID-19, the SoDo Clean Air Shelter is not accepting any new guests on Sept. 17. 

Anyone already staying at the Shelter who agrees to a voluntary COVID-19 test will be able to remain onsite at the Sodo emergency shelter through the morning of Saturday, Sept. 18 when they will learn the result of their COVID-19 test. 

Anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or who tests positive for COVID-19 will be able to complete their isolation period at a County Isolation and Quarantine facility.

Onsite shelter staff will continue to implement cleaning, masking, and distancing protocols for any person at the shelter to limit the risk of spread, while providing a place for current shelter guests to continue staying out of Unhealthy for All smoke conditions.