In its continued effort to slow the coronavirus pandemic and prevent transmission of COVID-19 through the homeless shelter population, King County recently contracted with two Queen Anne-area hotels to serve as temporary shelter locations.

The county contracted with the Queen Ann Inn, 505 First Ave. N., and The Civic Hotel, 325 Seventh Ave. N., to temporarily house people experiencing homelessness to help reduce the density in the city’s other shelters. The facilities are not isolation and quarantine sites.

According to a King County announcement, the “de-intensification” facilities, are for residents currently living in other shelter facilities. Each location will serve up to 60 people. The duration of the stay will depend on the needs in the community and the duration of COVID-19 in the county.

“In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 amongst individuals living in congregate shelters and staff serving those individuals, King County is working to de-intensify existing shelters to allow people experiencing homelessness to practice social distancing and to reduce the chance of becoming sick,” according to the release.

While serving as temporary shelters:

The Queen Anne Inn will be staffed in partnership with Catholic Community Services, while the Civic Hotel will be staffed in partnership with the Salvation Army.

King County will provide on-site, 24/7 security at both locations.

The county will also provide transportation to and from the hotels using “the most appropriate, safe transportation options available.”

Neither hotel will be open to guests while they are being used by the county.

According to the Uptown Alliance May newsletter, King County is still considering how to use the Elliott Avenue shelter in Interbay, which is near final construction.

“According to county officials, they continue to evaluate what the highest and best use for this new facility should be as a result of COVID-19,” the newsletter said.