King County, Seattle seeking more staff for sites created in response to coronavirus

King County, Seattle seeking more staff for sites created in response to coronavirus
The interior of a two-bed temporary housing unit is shown Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at the site in South Seattle where King County will be placing several multi-unit housing modules to house patients undergoing treatment and isolation in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The units could be ready as soon as the end of the week. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (Ted S. Warren)

KING COUNTY, Wash. — King County and Seattle are seeking additional staff for expanded sites and shelters created in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials said there have been a total of 1,893 spaces created, with 95 new emergency shelter beds, 709 expansion spaces for social distancing, 432 beds for isolation or quarantine and 612 beds for people needing recovery but not requiring emergency care.

The spaces were created over the past three weeks, but officials said staffing the facilities remains a challenge.

Content Continues Below

The county and Seattle are looking for contract medical staff and are activating emergency plans to temporarily reassign employees from office and other functions to operate the facilities as soon as possible.

“In the last three weeks, the city of Seattle and King County have worked quickly to rapidly create almost 1,900 spaces for individuals experiencing homelessness so we can slow the spread of COVID-19. This unprecedented deployment of resources at a local level will need the continued support of our state and federal government to create additional facilities with personnel and resources,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan.

“We are determined to do all that we can to slow the spread of this virus in our communities and ensure that hospital beds are available for the most seriously ill,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We are committed to the proposition that no one will be left behind. Not the old, not the sick, not those who are living in homelessness. We are all in this together, and we have to get each other through it. That is what our community expects, and that is what we will do.”