FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2022
Whatcom County Health Department Closes Isolation and Quarantine Facility on Byron Street
BELLINGHAM, WA – On March 31, 2022, the isolation and quarantine facility on Byron St. in Bellingham will close as its lease comes to an end. The facility opened on April 22, 2020 and has provided a space to safely isolate or quarantine for individuals without other appropriate accommodations. Plans to provide isolation to individuals with COVID-19 are currently being finalized with partnering agencies.
More than 700 guests have used the Byron facility over the 23 months it has been in operation. The average daily occupancy from November 2020 through October 2021 was 10 guests. During the Omicron surge in January 2022, the facility reached its capacity of approximately 58 guests and an additional facility, the locker rooms at Civic Stadium, was opened to accommodate isolation needs. The Civic Stadium location remains an option for isolation in the event of another large outbreak.
“We’ve been fortunate to have the Byron facility as a place for Whatcom residents to safely isolate and quarantine, but we anticipate a lower demand moving forward,” said Cindy Hollinsworth, Communicable Disease and Epidemiology Manager for the health department. “While there will still be residents who will need a place to isolate while they’re sick, we expect we can meet their needs without operating a standalone facility.”
The isolation and quarantine facility was supported solely by funds from the federal government, including Coronavirus Relief Funds (also known as CARES Act), the Federal Emergency Management Agency funds, Epidemiology & Lab Capacity grants (federal grants administered by the Washington State Department of Health), and American Rescue Plan Act funds. No state or local funds were used to lease or operate the facility.