OLYMPIA — While lauding the ’s energetic response to the spread of coronavirus, Sen. Joe Nguyen said the siting of a quarantine facility in White Center continues a pattern of systemic disregard for that community.
“It is promising to hear of action from the regarding the containment of coronavirus,” said Nguyen, who represents White Center. “But the appearance of placing it in a neighborhood that has already been historically marginalized conveys a message about whose safety we most value in our society that is not lost on me.”
Nguyen’s comments came after King County officials announced on March 3 that a quarantine facility for those diagnosed with coronavirus will be opened in the Top Hat neighborhood of White Center following news of multiple deaths from the virus earlier this week.
“While a quarantine facility does not necessarily mean the surrounding area is more prone to infection, I am wary to see that this facility has been placed in a community already deeply disenfranchised by decades of policies working against it.”
White Center is one of the most racially diverse areas in King County, with 60% of its population made up of people of color, according to 2010 Census records.
The quarantine facility is expected to be operating by mid-March and will include 32 rooms for people infected with coronavirus. More facilities are expected to be announced in response to an increasing number of cases of the illness being diagnosed in King County.