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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Gabrielle Byrne, Public Information Officer, 360-867-2514, or byrneg@co.thurston.wa.us 

Thurston County Location Identified for COVID-19 Potential Quarantine and Isolation, Should Need Arise
Risk is low, but preparation is important

OLYMPIA – As part of the ongoing community safety effort surrounding COVID-19, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has identified an additional location that could be used for both quarantine and isolation, if there was a need. The location is Maple Lane, a Washington State Department of Corrections property in South Thurston County.  

The actions being taken by DOH to set up this facility are being done out of an abundance of caution. There are no cases of COVID-19 in Thurston County at this time, and if there were to be one in future, the first option would always be to either quarantine or isolate at home. The word isolation refers to people who have symptoms. The word quarantine refers to people who may have been exposed, but do not have symptoms. As a reminder, COVID-19 is spread during close contact (less than six feet) with an infected person. The risk to the public of contracting COVID-19 remains low.   

“Individuals who would use this service would be safely away from other people and would pose no risk to employees at the Maple Lane facility or anyone nearby,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, State Health Officer for the State of Washington. “We are confident in our training, planning, and ability to use these sites safely. There is no need for neighbors or businesses nearby to worry about the spread of COVID-19 from this location.”

The Maple Lane site would be the home to two pods of RVs, similar to the set-up at the Shoreline location. 

If used for isolation, one RV pod would house individuals who:
  • Have potentially been exposed to COVID-19, 
  • Have symptoms of COVID-19, and 
  • Are unable to remain isolated at home 
If used for quarantine, one RV pod would house healthy people who:
  • Have potentially been exposed to COVID-19, 
  • Have no symptoms, and
  • Can’t safely quarantine at home
“We are working closely with our state and local partners to support all efforts to prevent COVID-19 in our community. Establishing this site is a proactive approach to protecting public health. We hope this site won’t be needed, but it is always good to be prepared,” said Schelli Slaughter, Director of Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department. 

As always, the best thing people can do to protect their health is to use best practices such as hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when sick, and getting vaccinated against the flu.  

DOH has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington State regarding how quarantine works, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. 

More information on COVID-19 is available from: 

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3