State confirms Fire Training Academy near North Bend no longer a designated coronavirus quarantine site

The City of North Bend announced on Thursday, February 20, 2020 both the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Washington State Patrol (WSP) officially confirmed that the Fire Training Academy (FTA) east of North Bend is no longer a designated coronavirus quarantine site.

The FTA had been designated by the state as a potential quarantine site in early February, sparking concern from many Snoqualmie Valley residents.

The city said WSP – which owns the Fire Training Academy – reported the current class of firefighting recruits had returned to the FTA dormitories.   

“At no point was the facility used for quarantine purposes, but it did give the state a point of initial readiness for this evolving situation,” WSP Communications Director Chris Loftis, said. “The Washington State Patrol will continue to dutifully respond to public safety needs and will always work to be good neighbors in areas of our facilities and service.”

Earlier this month, the DOH informed City of North Bend staff that the Fire Training Academy – located in a remote spot east of North Bend – had been designated a potential quarantine management facility for travelers from the Hubei Province in China who were not able to self-quarantine at home.

The state confirmed the FTA facility is no longer needed for this use. An alternate state-owned site near Shoreline was announced on February 7th as additional quarantine site.

That state-owned property behind the Washington State Public Health Laboratory in Shoreline is described by the DOH as “spacious and secure, and while there are neighborhoods nearby, there is no risk to the public. Fully functional mobile housing units on site can comfortably house a person(s) for up to 14 days, safely and securely. People staying there would be regularly monitored by staff as part of a multi-agency partnership who would also deliver wraparound services like food, laundry, and other needs. Fencing would be established for both the privacy and safety of anyone staying inside.”

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