The former Econo Lodge in Kent is a King County Isolation and Quarantine Facility for COVID-19 patients. FILE PHOTO, Kent Reporter

The former Econo Lodge in Kent is a King County Isolation and Quarantine Facility for COVID-19 patients. FILE PHOTO, Kent Reporter

Man dies at Kent COVID-19 isolation and quarantine facility

Found dead in room at former hotel during routine medical staff check

A patient with COVID-19 residing at the Kent isolation and quarantine (I&Q) facility died between 9:30 p.m. Jan. 24 and 11 a.m. Jan. 25, according to a Jan. 26 Public Health – Seattle and King County media release.

The man in his 50s was found unresponsive on the morning of Jan. 25 during a routine check by medical staff. The individual was a long-time resident of a transitional housing facility in King County and arrived at the Kent I&Q facility on Jan. 18.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office will investigate and release the man’s identity and cause of death, according to the media release.

King County opened the facility, 1233 Central Ave. N., in March 2020 at the former Econo Lodge it purchased at the outbreak of the pandemic.

“We are saddened to learn of the death of our guest in Kent, and we mourn for the families and communities who have lost loved ones throughout the pandemic,” said Leo Flor, director of the King County Department of Community and Human Services and Dennis Worsham, interim director of Public Health – Seattle & King County, in a joint statement. “King County remains committed to providing a place to rest and recover when that space is unavailable at home for any number of reasons including the fragility of the health of a family member, or for people who do not have a home.

“We could not be more thankful for the medical providers and staff who handle everyone with care and respect when they walk through our doors. We will continue to do all that we can to provide a safe place to isolate, while we reduce infections and hospitalizations so more people across the county can lead full lives during the pandemic and after.”

King County I&Q facilities are for individuals who need a place to stay while having suspected or confirmed COVID-19 illness. Each patient receives care and monitoring by medical professionals. Since the start of the pandemic, King County’s I&Q facilities have provided care for 3,686 unique patients, according to the media release.

This is the second death to occur at a King County I&Q facility since the I&Q sites opened in March 2020. The first death occurred in April 2020, according to the media release.

Currently, two King County I&Q facilities are open, one in Kent and one in Auburn. The Auburn site opened on a temporary basis on Jan. 3 in response to the omicron COVID-19 variant surge that created more demand for local I&Q space. The new facility provides safe, clean and comfortable rooms for 100 people to safely isolate, rest and recover, adding to the 83-person capacity at Kent.

Any King County adult who does not have a place to safely isolate and has either tested positive for COVID-19 or has moderate COVID-like symptoms can call the King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. to learn more about I&Q.

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