The Washington State Department of Health has identified the Maple Lane corrections facility in southern Thurston County as a possible isolation and quarantine site for patients diagnosed with the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
There has been only one case of COVID-19 diagnosed in Washington, and none in Lewis County.
“The risk from COVID-19 to the general public in Washington remains low,” a press release from Lewis County Public Health and Social Services states. “There have been no suspected cases to date in Lewis County. However, by planning now, the site can be set up more quickly if needed.”
Maple Lane, in Grand Mound, was built as a youth correctional facility and has most recently been used as a treatment facility for inmates with mental health issues.
According to Lewis County Public Health, Maple Lane would be home to two “pods of RVs,” similar to what the state Department of Health has set up in Shoreline. Individuals at the site would have no contact with staff or residents at Maple Lane or nearby communities.
“Isolation and quarantine are often used interchangeably by the media, but they are really two different things,” the public health news release states. “Isolation is an after-the-fact tool that keeps sick patients away from other people so they can’t pass the disease. Quarantine is a precautionary tool. It means keeping a person who is not currently sick, but is likely to have been exposed, away from other people until it is known for sure the person is not sick and cannot spread the disease.”
If used for isolation, one of the RV pods would house individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, or who symptoms and are unable to remain isolated at home.
If used for quarantine, one pod would house health people who have been exposed but have no symptoms and can’t safely quarantine at home.
COVID-19 is spread during close contact, within 6 feet of an infected person. There is no known risk outside the 6-foot perimeter.